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Alright, let's call in session today's Finance Committee. 00:00:00
Gentleman, if you would take a look at the minutes from our last meeting. 00:00:03
And there is if there is a motion to adopt those, will entertainment. 00:00:07
Motion to approve, Mr. Chairman. Second, all in favor. Say aye, aye. 00:00:14
Yeah, minutes are adopted. 00:00:18
Item number one. 00:00:20
Please Police Department retention presentation and proposal. Mayor Maddox, you present. 00:00:24
But we we appreciate you allowing us to get this all. 00:00:30
Saying. 00:00:34
The House telling a group on Friday as we were discussing this. 00:00:36
That in my time as mayor, probably the two greatest challenges that that I have faced. 00:00:41
Have been the tornado of April 27, 2011. 00:00:47
And COVID? 00:00:52
I am now ready to say that. 00:00:54
Ensuring that we have a fully operational Police Department is now the third. 00:00:56
Greatest challenge that I believe. 00:01:02
Than I have faced, at least in my tenure. 00:01:05
With the city of Tuscaloosa, that's how serious I think. 00:01:07
The challenges in front of us. 00:01:13
And while we felt it was necessary to move forward with a pretty broad and quite frankly in this expensive investment. 00:01:15
Into the Tuscaloosa Police Department, so if we can pull up the presentation itself. 00:01:26
We titled it Staying Strong. 00:01:34
And one of the things that we are appreciative of at the Tuscaloosa Police Department, I know this is something that. 00:01:37
That Chief, and I talked about a lot, is what this Council has done. 00:01:43
For for the Tuscaloosa Police Department since 2021. 00:01:48
This council passed one of the most well, the most expensive at the time. 00:01:52
Pay plan in the city's history for law enforcement and for Tuscaloosa Fire. 00:01:58
You recently just approved $5000. 00:02:03
Sign on bonus within TPD with a 2500. 00:02:06
Dollar referral bonus take home cars for our patrol division which was upfront a $3,000,000 investment with another 1.5 million in 00:02:10
operational year. 00:02:14
And then you have taken on the challenge of RSA conversion which for both fire and police. 00:02:20
Which will be the most expensive city investment in its entire history? 00:02:26
That's what That's the size and significance. 00:02:31
Of what this Council has invested not only in the TPD but also in Tuscaloosa Fire and Rescue. 00:02:35
And your investments have paid off. 00:02:41
When you look and and as you may have read in the last week's Mayors Minute. 00:02:44
When you go to social media and you you go to and you look at it, it's it's. 00:02:50
Hard to judge when someone says crime is down, but crime is down in Tuscaloosa. 00:02:56
These are the debt. This is the data that we report to the FBI each and every year. 00:03:01
And one of the things that makes it even more remarkable. 00:03:06
Is that since my first year as mayor, we've grown by more than 25,000 people as a city. If if our growth were city alone, it would 00:03:10
be one of the top 25 biggest cities in Alabama. 00:03:16
To give you some sense of just how much we have grown as a community and so. 00:03:22
For TPD to achieve what they've achieved. 00:03:26
It it's it's certainly makes us all very proud of what we've been able to do as a community. 00:03:30
And really the certainly there have been partners, but I give Chief Swindle, Chief Anderson, Chief Blankley and all the men and 00:03:36
women during that time. 00:03:40
The credit for being able to make certain that crime is down in our community. 00:03:45
And even when you look over the last four years at the Major Crimes in our city. 00:03:51
They continue to be down. 00:03:56
It doesn't mean we're not focused on that. It doesn't mean it's that it's. 00:03:58
It's never far from us. 00:04:03
When 41% of the city's general fund budget actually goes into public safety, certainly you know where our heart is by where we're 00:04:05
making the investments. 00:04:09
But we should all take a step back and recognize the amazing work, the strength of the Tuscaloosa Police Department. 00:04:15
And when you think about a a city department that responds to citizens. 00:04:24
Last year, in 2022, we responded to nine 93,027 calls. 00:04:30
An average of 255 average costs per day. 00:04:36
I maybe got a handful of complaints you probably I would assume got a handful of complaints. 00:04:41
What business has that many interactions? 00:04:47
And so few complaints. And when TPD responds, it's not. Most of the time, it's not to. 00:04:51
Get a cat out of a tree. 00:04:56
You know. 00:04:59
It is because. 00:05:00
Something bad is happening. 00:05:02
Somebody is concerned whether it's a DVD case, whether it's a missing child. 00:05:04
God forbid it's a homicide. 00:05:09
Our police officers are responding into the most difficult situations. 00:05:12
Mr. Bill, I don't have to tell you because you lived it. 00:05:16
Every day. 00:05:19
The things that you see in the significant event reports that you receive every day gives us all a glimpse of what the men and 00:05:21
women of the Tuscaloosa Police Department. 00:05:25
Are responding to. 00:05:29
And I'm very proud of our response times. 00:05:31
Especially in this uncertain. 00:05:35
Atmosphere. 00:05:38
But as I mentioned earlier. 00:05:40
This wouldn't be the third greatest challenge that we faced or I faced in my career with the city. 00:05:41
If there wasn't a challenge, and we have one today, we are sixty officers short. We have 291. 00:05:48
Full-time equivalents of sworn police officers. 00:05:54
Between the vacancies, which are near 40. 00:05:58
And those in training, as of this morning it equals 60. 00:06:01
Those that are in training, our officers that are being that are a post certified that are. 00:06:05
Are getting a post certified or in the first year of employment? 00:06:09
Because our training standards are so rigorous. 00:06:13
We normally do not let an officer out. 00:06:17
By themselves until after their first year. 00:06:19
We have never compromised on our training standards and again I get chief swindle. 00:06:24
And Chief Anderson and Chief Blankley. The credit. 00:06:28
Those leaders have always told me we never sacrifice on training. 00:06:32
That's how you become a Minneapolis. 00:06:36
That's how you become a Ferguson. 00:06:38
That's how you become a Baltimore. 00:06:40
Is when you sacrifice on the quality of the hires that you make and the training that you provide. 00:06:42
Your officers. 00:06:48
But the fact of the matter is, we're sixty officers short. 00:06:50
We're an 82% operational capacity today. 00:06:53
Making matters worse, 73% of our patrol division has less than five years. 00:06:57
Of experience. We do not have a lot of experience within the division itself that touches. 00:07:03
The majority of the personnel are the majority of the people. 00:07:11
In our community. 00:07:15
So why are we in this position? 00:07:16
We've attempted to either quantify or qualify. 00:07:18
Four reasons. But there is an overarching theme that none of us can get lost, and that is. 00:07:23
That nationwide law enforcement is not a very popular profession, especially following the the death of George Floyd. 00:07:29
Law enforcement itself is just not attractive. 00:07:38
We have very few applicants come in, very few that can meet our qualifications. 00:07:43
And that is something that is just not isolated to the city of Tuscaloosa. This is a nationwide. 00:07:49
Phenomenon. 00:07:56
That we all have to acknowledge and accept. 00:07:57
So that is. 00:08:01
That is to me, a cloud that's over everything that we are trying to do at this point. 00:08:03
But what we've tried to do in this presentation is also localized, while we believe we're in this position as well. 00:08:08
1st. 00:08:16
We're policing bars instead of protecting neighborhoods. 00:08:17
And. 00:08:22
That is to me when you look at the data. 00:08:23
It's it's a dynamic that we have got to change and it leads to another problem that I'll discuss in a second. 00:08:27
The city of Tuscaloosa 70.3 square miles. 00:08:34
Within our city we have 39 bars and gastropubs. 00:08:39
We have 29 of those within our downtown and university corridor. 00:08:43
Last year in 22. 00:08:49
Of all the revenue those 39 generated was $2.3 million. 00:08:52
Can can you save this slide for admin and? 00:08:58
Please my exact thoughts. Thank you. I'll go ahead and love and this is not an attack on bars. 00:09:01
This is just showing you where we're having before in resources. 00:09:07
Please don't say that none of the overtime. This is not event for game days, which we know we have to do. 00:09:11
16 amphitheater shows a year. 00:09:19
8 or 9 live at the plazas. 00:09:22
Six weeks of holidays on the river. 00:09:25
TTS special events that include any of that stuff. 00:09:28
Just alone in that University Blvd. strip corridor, we anticipate $750,000 just in overtime. That's not asset value cost, that's 00:09:32
not the personnel that are already assigned to that shift that are in that area. 00:09:39
We are pouring in a lot of resources. 00:09:48
To be the entertainment hub. 00:09:52
Of W Alabama. 00:09:55
It comes certainly with the positive. 00:09:57
But it also comes with the negative of us having to provide. 00:09:59
An enormous, enormous amount. 00:10:04
Of. 00:10:07
Police assets and resources. 00:10:08
And then you look at what we've seen since the beginning of this year, 11 applications for bars and gastropubs. 00:10:11
Which I think led to, which I believe led to your decision that I support. 00:10:18
Of. 00:10:24
Let's create a freeze a moment in time. 00:10:24
So that we can put together some recommendations to help. 00:10:27
Really. 00:10:32
Lessen the density of bars and gastropubs, especially in that downtown University Blvd. Corridor. 00:10:34
We also have another factor here locally that we have to deal with. 00:10:42
That's officer burnout. 00:10:46
Those events that I talked about earlier, the mandatory overtime for UA events right now or yesterday Chief was telling me that 00:10:49
officers are all offering other officers up to $150.00 to take a mandatory shift of overtime. 00:10:55
Just so they don't have to work it. 00:11:03
UA Sports, Graduations. Amphitheater, concerts, because we have a lot going on in Tuscaloosa. 00:11:05
Because we are the communities hub for entertainment. 00:11:13
Our officers are being forced to work these events. 00:11:17
And we live in an environment now with active shooters. 00:11:20
We live in an event where he's a little bit more dangerous. We just cannot not have police officers. 00:11:24
Out there protecting the public. 00:11:30
The other dynamic change of this. 00:11:32
Is that officers value family time instead of overtime. 00:11:35
Mr. Fail has heard me tell the story of some of our other team members have when I was first elected mayor, I met with a group of 00:11:40
police officers. 00:11:43
Who were angry that they weren't getting enough overtime? 00:11:46
We would fight for that. 00:11:49
They felt that the the brass were getting all the overtime and the lower level weren't getting any of the overtime. 00:11:51
And so. 00:11:59
The dynamic has changed. 00:12:00
This new generation of workforce. 00:12:02
They want to work their 4045 hours a week. 00:12:05
And they want to go home. They're not interested in what the overtime check. 00:12:08
Can bring to them. 00:12:12
And we're seeing our officers are exhausted. 00:12:14
There they are burned out. We are working them time and time again and with each vacancy. 00:12:17
Means someone else has to step up. 00:12:24
I see. We've got members of our school board here. It's like teachers in the classroom. You have to have a teacher in the 00:12:26
classroom. You have to have a police officer on the beat. 00:12:30
There's just no letting that vacancy rise. 00:12:34
The next challenge that we face is salary competition. Now, just two years ago, we were #1. 00:12:38
In the state of Alabama, the table to the left that says police. 00:12:44
Today we are #8. 00:12:48
We're #3 in our own county. 00:12:50
Recently, the university just announced a starting salary of 65,000. 00:12:54
That's for no experience not being a POST. 00:13:01
So the majority of our officers that would qualify for that would come in actually 71,000. 00:13:04
That's almost $20,000 higher than our starting pay. 00:13:10
So you you think about the dynamic that that's created and I commend the university for wanting to pay their police officers. 00:13:16
That type of salary I I certainly wish we could afford to do that and sustain it over time. 00:13:25
But it has. It has certainly created now a dining new dynamic in the marketplace. 00:13:32
For the value of police officers. 00:13:39
And we have to acknowledge that reality. 00:13:41
Especially in a dynamic where again, an officer values their family time over overtime. 00:13:45
If I can have a base salary. 00:13:52
Higher. 00:13:55
And have more time off. 00:13:56
And that is a tough dynamic to compete against. 00:13:59
For the city of Tuscaloosa. 00:14:03
On the other side, just because we're always, you know, we always get the fire and police. 00:14:07
As of this year, we are still number one in the state. 00:14:11
Northport is right there with us, but as Chief blankly reminded me, and I'm sure Chief Smith would echo in. 00:14:15
If you factored in north ports. 00:14:22
Cheaper health insurance benefit. They're probably, in terms of total package, ahead of us. 00:14:25
On both bar. 00:14:31
And police. And by the way, this I'm going to get to my editorial point. 00:14:32
Because we do so much for the community. 00:14:36
We don't get the luxury of investing more in our employees. 00:14:39
We have to run the airport, We have to provide Mercedes Fire Protection. 00:14:42
We are called upon to do those things. 00:14:46
Which ultimately means less we can all ultimately do for all employees where other jurisdictions don't have those 00:14:49
responsibilities. 00:14:52
To the greater community. 00:14:57
And so when you look at UA PD's new salary schedule in particular again. 00:14:59
The majority of our officers that applied and would be hired would come in at 71,000, which would be 20,000 base salary higher. 00:15:04
Plus, with a signing bonus, their total compensation is 78,740. 00:15:12
Today of of the 261 positions we have at TPD. 00:15:19
180 Two of our officers base salary is below. 00:15:25
80,000. 00:15:29
Now a lot of our salaries, a lot of our officers will make more of that in terms of total compensation because of the mandatory 00:15:31
overtime. 00:15:35
That we are forcing officers to work but base salary 180 two of our 261 officers. 00:15:39
Make below. 00:15:46
80,000. 00:15:47
Certainly RSA conversion plays a role. 00:15:50
And what we're up against? 00:15:54
Now here's the good news, and I put this in as an informational slide for the council and the public. 00:15:56
As of today, I think this number will be higher once we get the the. 00:16:03
The actuaries updated report. 00:16:07
When we moved our SAP conversion, that's going to be an annual cost of 8.1. Again. I I think that number is going to be a little 00:16:09
bit higher than that. 00:16:13
It provide it will provide each of our officers in additional 10,000 officers and firefighter 10,986 dollar annual benefit. 00:16:18
And they will see a decrease of $2362. 00:16:27
In conversion. 00:16:31
Right now, if we had to make a recommendation to the City Council, we're three years away from RSA. 00:16:33
In our financial modeling, we believe that the probably the optimal date for us to go in and be able to sustain that for the next 00:16:40
40 to 50 years. 00:16:45
Would be October 1st, 2026. 00:16:49
That's today again, we we've got a lot more work to do. 00:16:53
We as a staff haven't come to a conclusion so we're not close to having a recommendation. 00:16:58
For the City Council. 00:17:03
We believe. 00:17:05
That. 00:17:07
Immediate action. 00:17:08
Is required. 00:17:10
So we would recommend. 00:17:12
A $10,000. 00:17:14
Officer retention bonus. 00:17:16
This would be for our non probationary employees. So employees that are currently working for us that are non probationary. 00:17:18
Once they moved into non probationary status, excuse me, those that are probationary moved into non probationary status. 00:17:26
They then would qualify for the $10,000 retention bonus. 00:17:33
In return for the the immediate payout of that. 00:17:38
You would sign a two year agreement to stay with the City of Tuscaloosa. 00:17:42
In the Tuscaloosa Police Department. 00:17:47
Or be obligated to repay that. 00:17:49
Back to the city. 00:17:51
If you decided to leave. 00:17:53
I want to be clear in saying that this is not a long term solution. 00:17:56
This is about trying to make certain we. 00:18:02
Give the Council. 00:18:06
With the Police Department, the City Council. 00:18:08
Time to really look at how we adjust. 00:18:11
To the new and evolving dynamic of law enforcement itself and the pay and compensation surrounding. 00:18:15
This investment would cost $3.2 million. 00:18:24
And it would be a one year 18% increase on average. 00:18:28
For our employees benefit. 00:18:34
So how would we pay for it? 00:18:37
This year we have 1.5 million anticipated and TPD salary savings. 00:18:39
We've also have 177,000 that we have not or appropriated. 00:18:46
For special bonuses within TPD. 00:18:52
And then through other citywide salary savings and other 1.4 million. 00:18:55
So we would fund this out of 23 fiscal budget. 00:19:01
By using the anticipated salary savings. 00:19:04
With the lion's share of that coming from TPD salary savings itself. 00:19:07
So in large part, their salary savings are funding the very bonus. 00:19:12
Which they would. 00:19:17
Receive. 00:19:18
We present this today because public safety is absolutely positively. 00:19:21
Our top priority? 00:19:25
And one of the things that I fail to mention is we localize our recruitment. 00:19:27
Concerns. 00:19:33
And I do not blame our competitors. 00:19:34
But UPD. 00:19:37
Northport Sheriff's Office. 00:19:40
They use against us that if you come to work for TPD. 00:19:42
You're going to be in an urban environment dealing with urban issues. 00:19:46
30 weekends a year. 00:19:50
Go home. You can kiss. You can kiss the family goodbye. 00:19:52
Because you're working. 00:19:56
On addition to your other schedule. 00:19:58
And we are paying benefits is either now significantly higher. 00:20:01
Or as good as what you're getting at the Tuscaloosa Police Department. 00:20:05
This is our challenge. 00:20:12
We were. 00:20:16
Certainly I do not believe I would be making this recommendation today if it wasn't for the announcement of a couple of weeks ago. 00:20:17
But when twelve of our officers immediately and began the process of go inquiring into HR regarding benefit transfers. 00:20:23
App following a news release regarding the new pay plan. 00:20:33
We felt it was necessary to to. 00:20:38
Show a strong sign of support to our officers. 00:20:41
That we acknowledge this new dynamic. 00:20:45
We're going to invest to try to make it happen. 00:20:47
I'm gonna stop here because I know there's going to be some questions. 00:20:51
Chief and his command team is here to answer any questions. 00:20:55
And Miss Standridge and her team are here to answer any questions. 00:20:58
And again, I appreciate the opportunity to present this today and we look forward. We're not asking for any vote today. We 00:21:02
certainly would as I emailed would like to see. 00:21:08
A vote come up to be scheduled next week on finance and then the following week. 00:21:14
To the City Council. So, Mr. Busby, we'll be happy to answer any questions that you may have. Sure. Thank you. Mayor. Chief, is 00:21:18
there any remarks you want to make? 00:21:22
To open it up. 00:21:27
I first want to thank the mayor. The council finds me everybody who's working on this. I don't have to tell you all what we do 00:21:28
every day. I think you know it. We're one of the only only employees in the city that gets spit on a daily basis. 00:21:34
That gets in fights on a daily basis, that break bones on a daily basis. 00:21:40
All these gentlemen over here, everyone has a broken bones from the city. 00:21:44
Y'all been amazing. 00:21:48
To. 00:21:49
Help compensate us for that. 00:21:50
But when you have other agencies that that do less work than we do and a better working environment and don't face the same things 00:21:52
we do and then the salary schedule that comes on top of that, it's tough to keep officers. 00:21:58
I know we've had five to six officers already interview over at University Alabama. 00:22:03
I had one officer, he's amazing Officer. He's actually. 00:22:08
If you walk out that that hallway right there, he's on a a big poster board out there with his dog. 00:22:10
Who says he just can't pass this up? 00:22:15
Some of the other officers we talked to about the $10,000 bonus. 00:22:18
And they said, you know, wow, you know, the city is looking at doing this. This is amazing. 00:22:21
You know, I'll think about staying. 00:22:25
I'm not gonna sit up here and act like $10,000 is gonna fix all this. It's not. 00:22:27
But one thing it does is, I do know police officers, if they've got a project at home or they're wanting to buy something, it's 00:22:32
enough to, I think, keep some of them here. It's a Band-Aid. 00:22:36
Um. 00:22:41
As far as the salary schedule, I've talked to most all of you individually. 00:22:41
And I would have never imagined 18 years ago that that police would change the way it has. 00:22:45
Um. 00:22:51
Nobody wants to do this job and quite frankly, for some people I can't blame him. 00:22:52
You know when you go to work everyday and and you're, you know you're you're in a fight nonstop. It's like man, can I go do 00:22:56
something else for this money? 00:23:00
But we're lucky here because we do have men and women that come here every single day that that love doing this job and when I 00:23:04
trade anything for it. 00:23:07
But I believe that we we've also got to look at the future because as the mayor said, this isn't a fix, this is a holding pattern. 00:23:11
That I believe when we do this we can keep officers here and keep them from going to UA and other places. 00:23:18
The one thing that we do compete with. 00:23:24
And at a problem we have is we don't have RSA right now. 00:23:26
You know some at least from Northport and goes to the University of Alabama or goes to other agency. They could pull from a 00:23:29
smaller department. 00:23:32
We can't do that. Nobody's gonna leave A789 year retirement with RSA to come to the Police Department to start over at 25 years. 00:23:35
So we have that going against us, that's hurting us really bad and y'all been very support full of saying hey, we are going to go 00:23:42
to RSA and we're going to make that happen, but right now that that is a issue that we have. 00:23:47
We just really like your consideration. You know, all these bonuses, you know, these guys work hard every day. The other thing is, 00:23:53
you know, like the mayor said, we're sixty officers short once you do the training. 00:23:58
These guys and girls are having to make up for that every single day sound like we're just like, hey, we can't do this. They're 00:24:03
working harder and harder every day to do that. 00:24:07
And you know the burning out quick. 00:24:11
You know to this, it's also not only retention, but better morale thing of hey, look, the city is looking out for you. 00:24:13
And I will answer any questions that I can answer in my command staff can answer as well. 00:24:19
First of all, thank you. 00:24:25
And y'all and. 00:24:28
And your men and women too. 00:24:29
People who don't know what it's like to have brave people show up armed to take care of you. 00:24:35
Are missing out. It's a big deal. 00:24:41
Um, I And I I think this council's action. 00:24:46
Has reflected the reality of what I mean. We have not said no to a single thing. Not only have we not said no. 00:24:50
We said yes. 00:24:58
Unanimously. So that speaks louder than than any yak yak I can do up here. 00:24:59
About the value we place on that. 00:25:07
I will say. 00:25:09
So. 00:25:11
We're we're somewhat caught off guard. 00:25:13
That we've dipped into. 00:25:16
A crisis have to do something I. 00:25:19
I did. We've known. 00:25:22
We've known about the shortage that. 00:25:24
That that didn't sneak up on us. 00:25:27
Has something changed? Yes, Sir. You, UH, changed the game. And I'm just gonna speak, you know, we we work with LAPD every single 00:25:31
day. 00:25:35
The problem is if you have a another job in the city. 00:25:39
You hire somebody in three weeks later they kind of learned that job. 00:25:45
With us, it's a year to year and a half before they're by themselves. 00:25:48
If we lose 6789 officers. 00:25:51
We're we're in trouble. 00:25:54
I'm not going to sugarcoat that because the problem is. 00:25:55
It takes a year and a half to replace that person. 00:25:58
And. And that's what's caused this. I know I've got about 11 people that's applied. I know at least six have interviewed so far. 00:26:01
One's already been hired. 00:26:05
We can't afford to lose 678910 officers. 00:26:09
Because we do that, we're going to pull those officers from somewhere to put them on the streets for that year and a half. That's 00:26:12
going to be cases that aren't going to be solved. That's going to be schools that don't aren't going to be as protected. 00:26:17
It is a crisis because they've changed the game, Birmingham ARE creator told me. Today they're putting out a new package. 00:26:22
It's a premium for officers right now. I never thought I'd see it, but you a changed the game. They changed the dynamics and where 00:26:30
Northport and the county, if they have people go over, they can pull more from RSA. They can get that officer that's been a small 00:26:35
department or another department for six and seven years. They put them through a two-month training. That's it man. They're good 00:26:39
to go. 00:26:44
We can't do that because we're not going to get the officers from other places. We've hired 1A post officer this year. 00:26:48
That's it. 00:26:54
Because they're just not coming here because of the retirement package. So if you put Northport in the county up here, they're 00:26:55
worried right here losing people. We're up here because we can't replace them near as quick. And I want to add to the emergency as 00:27:00
Chief said, was you a PD and it's just not the immediate. 00:27:05
You AUD. To their credit, I believe in chief. Correct me if I'm wrong, it's hiring 20 additional officers on top of A. 00:27:10
A force that was near 80, if not a little bit above 80. 00:27:17
So they're probably as large as the Sheriff's Department. UA's goal is to go to 102. I think they were in the 60s when they 00:27:20
started this process and and so not only are we talking about for their existing officers, they're increasing their FTE by 20. 00:27:27
And our concern is over the next two to three years with such a higher pay schedule if we lose four or five officers. 00:27:34
That man, especially where we are today. 00:27:42
Impacts us. 00:27:45
I think. 00:27:48
This as Chief said not I think I believe what we're proposing. 00:27:49
Barbs us. 00:27:54
Six months. 00:27:56
To two years. 00:27:57
That, that, that would be a range and if I were on the Council. 00:27:58
And the mayor presented me a $3.2 million six to two year solution. I would have pause. 00:28:02
But. 00:28:10
PD is at the core of what we do every single day. 00:28:11
We are also going to need time to develop something to recognize the change in market value. 00:28:15
Not only is the pay difference been influenced. 00:28:21
We ask our officers to do more than these other agencies. 00:28:26
We have to acknowledge that to attract them because even just staying even with our competitors, I don't think we can match UAD. 00:28:30
But just staying even, you know, some levels with the county and Northport. 00:28:39
Don't change the equation of that 40 hours. I can go work 40 hours there and. 00:28:43
And go to an Alabama football game. 00:28:48
Our officers, they get to stand outside the stadium for the luxury of 16 hours a day. 00:28:52
That's the dynamic we're faced with and it used to be not a problem because officers of the past wanted that overtime, the 00:28:59
officers of today. 00:29:03
Do not want that responsibility on top of Amphitheatre. Live at the Plaza Holidays on the river through Cedars Festival. 00:29:07
Graduations. 00:29:15
Bama bound. You name it. 00:29:16
Yeah, ask them to serve. And also I know in recruiting, I'm sure one of y'all is saying yourself, what are y'all doing? You're 00:29:19
creating? I'm glad y'all answered. Ask that question. 00:29:24
So. 00:29:28
2 pages of every recruitment we've gone. I was just about to ask. It was coming, I felt. 00:29:31
Ohh, did you tell me that you already 2 full-time recruiters? That's all they do. 00:29:38
Is going to recruit events. 00:29:43
Umm 2 and three times a week. 00:29:45
All over the state, all over Georgia, every military event that's coming out or putting people out. 00:29:47
So we're maximizing, and Dr. Rush's team helps us every single day trying to recruit. We pay, you know, a web service as well. 00:29:52
We're doing everything we can on recruiting, but if you look at that new hire test result to the top I just showed you. 00:30:00
In January 15 Applied 8. Tried out all eight failed the background check. 00:30:06
Zero higher February 20th, Plot 8 tried out. 00:30:11
Six failed the background, two higher it's month after month in June 36 applied. 00:30:14
9 tried out nine. All failed the hiring process. We hired 0. 00:30:20
We're not changing our standards and when I talk about failing the background, they can't pass the PT or they can't pass the 00:30:26
written test. 00:30:30
Or the polygraph, I failed. 00:30:34
So. 00:30:36
We have a standard that we're not willing to move on. 00:30:37
But the quality of applicants that we're getting, you don't want on the street. 00:30:40
Because that's how you end up on CNN and YouTube. 00:30:44
And everywhere else. And we're not willing to to sacrifice our standard that we have the police warrant for that. This standard 00:30:47
has held true. 00:30:50
But some of the simple stuff they they can't pass. Their generation cannot pass And Mr. I'm go just one. I apologize, Mr. Wilson, 00:30:54
one thing, I think it's important. 00:30:59
And. 00:31:03
We we certainly want to pass this, but moving forward, Mr. Busby and I really appreciate your time on Friday when we talked about 00:31:04
this. 00:31:08
We we're going to have to reevaluate. 00:31:13
Our priorities over the next three to five years to meet this moment. 00:31:16
They're They're just the. 00:31:20
The things that we wanted to accomplish. 00:31:22
I think we're there's some of those things we're just going to have to pause. 00:31:26
And address the long-term part of this to deal with public safety. 00:31:31
And I want the Council to know that I am absolutely committed to that. 00:31:35
It is the responsible thing to do as both. 00:31:40
Of the mayor, but also as a citizen of this community that when I pick up the phone and call 911. 00:31:44
I don't want to have to wait 10/15/20 minutes for a police officer to respond. 00:31:49
Mr. Wilson, Yes, Sir. 00:31:54
Thank you so much, Mr. Mayor and Chief. 00:31:56
For your own. 00:31:58
Opportunity to show us this. 00:32:00
Presentation. 00:32:02
Mr. Chairman. 00:32:04
I. 00:32:06
I want to. 00:32:08
Go on record today of saying we we need to do this to help our police officers. 00:32:09
Um. 00:32:13
Couple of days ago I was getting ready to go to bed. 00:32:16
And heard shots. 00:32:20
In my community. 00:32:22
And went out to. 00:32:24
Where that shooting was that it took place. 00:32:26
Two young men. 00:32:30
Shooting each other like. 00:32:32
It was Bonanza. 00:32:34
And um. 00:32:36
There's a. There's a dynamic shift. 00:32:37
There's a culture shift. 00:32:40
That's happening within our city. 00:32:41
And. 00:32:44
Listening to those older people say. 00:32:45
You know, we don't want this in our community. We're tired of this. 00:32:48
And. 00:32:52
Chief came out there. 00:32:53
Those officers. 00:32:55
Should have been able to do their job. 00:32:59
But because of. 00:33:01
The choices that some people make. 00:33:03
They had to be out there. 00:33:05
That a scene where two people had gotten shot in the chest. 00:33:07
We want to save community. 00:33:10
Our police officers. 00:33:13
It takes innovation skill. 00:33:14
Tenacity. Bravery. 00:33:17
And desire to do this job. I I wouldn't want that job. 00:33:19
No. 00:33:23
But I do think. 00:33:24
That we will have to, in the next three to five years, begin to think about. 00:33:26
What does public safety look like? 00:33:31
What does policing look like? 00:33:33
I can't speak for nobody else. 00:33:36
District. 00:33:37
But. 00:33:39
I want when when I call the police. 00:33:40
I want them to be able to come. 00:33:43
To our rescue. 00:33:45
And to come in our community. 00:33:47
And I and I'm afraid if we don't do something. 00:33:50
That. 00:33:53
That might not happen. 00:33:55
Yeah. 00:34:00
First off, I just Chiefs want to thank. 00:34:02
All of y'all for what you did. 00:34:05
Because. 00:34:08
You have a very, very difficult job. 00:34:09
And when you. 00:34:13
Get on the City Council or whatever, whatever city in America. 00:34:15
I don't think you really understand. 00:34:19
What goes into a lot of the things that make our city be successful? We are blessed to have a. 00:34:22
Dedicated police. 00:34:27
And fire report. 00:34:29
And that that. 00:34:32
I think everybody would agree with that. When we first got on the council, I'm going to go back to what the mayor had in slides. 00:34:33
We've been here two years. 00:34:41
Rough. 00:34:43
We passed. 00:34:44
Pipeline, right? 00:34:45
We committed to go to RSA. 00:34:47
We committed to do take home cars. 00:34:49
We added sign on referral bonuses. Now we're looking at doing a retention bonus. 00:34:52
And the thing that that that worries me the most is it's not enough. 00:34:57
Because I don't think this is going to solve. 00:35:03
Your problem 100% and I think all of us want to know well what. 00:35:06
Is going to solve that problem. And what right I mean. One of the things we were talking about earlier is. 00:35:09
One of the biggest things used against us, money is important. I think some of the working conditions probably is important. 00:35:13
Retirement. 00:35:17
Is a big deal because if if you had. 00:35:21
The retirement that everybody else has. 00:35:23
You would have a bigger pool of people to pull from that wouldn't probably have to go through the training that you have. 00:35:26
To get him on the straight, right? 00:35:32
But it is. 00:35:36
So important for us as a city. 00:35:39
To if we don't have a safe city. 00:35:43
If we don't have. 00:35:45
People. 00:35:47
Feeling good about what's happening in our city that is going to spill over into everything else. 00:35:48
Economic development. It's gonna if people aren't gonna want to come here, students aren't gonna wanna come here. I mean, this is 00:35:53
one of the critical. 00:35:57
Issues that we have facing us as a city. 00:36:01
And there is no doubt about that and I've, you know. 00:36:05
I for one. 00:36:08
I think everybody's sitting at this table supports you guys. We want to make sure we find a way to make all these things work. 00:36:09
One question I am going to ask you though is. 00:36:15
And and I hate that my. 00:36:19
My friend Russell times trucking apologize on this but. 00:36:21
But I remember for many, many years as I had my own business. 00:36:25
We never had to recruit. 00:36:31
I never spent any money on advertising. Right? It it was. 00:36:34
Somebody's working for me and us. 00:36:37
And they. 00:36:40
Went out there and called their friends or recommended. This is a great place to go to work right? 00:36:41
And I'm sure that still happens today in some ways. 00:36:45
But everything changed five, 6-7 years ago. I don't care what industry you're in, everything changed, right? 00:36:49
And and I when I was talking to the mayor about this, I think I was talking to you that yesterday chief. 00:36:55
We have to. We had to start recruiting and then we we had to start paying firms. 00:37:01
For example, to bring us, I would say qualified applicants now, whether they drive a truck or whatever they do for us. 00:37:06
That kind of gets them in the process potentially to be hired, right? 00:37:14
My question and I'm glad Lashonda is here too, is. 00:37:20
Have we taken a critical look at at how we are recruiting? 00:37:24
Is there anything that we're missing? Do we have people looking at this? I feel like I know the answer, but. 00:37:29
But since the world has changed, we're we're going to have to change probably even more. 00:37:35
And the recruit people. So I mean, can you address that cause that that's really been on my mind a lot since we talked. Yes, Sir, 00:37:40
I'll address and I'll let Lashonna follow up on ours. I've talked to a lot of chiefs around the state of Alabama and even when I 00:37:45
was at the FBI Academy across the nation. 00:37:49
When I got hired 18 years ago and my my command staff got hired. 00:37:55
You had a pool that they were coming to you. 00:38:00
We were hiring new people out of college, out of the military. 00:38:03
That's changed now. A lot of the hirings are coming from other agencies. 00:38:05
As a society, I think it's for our younger officers. We're now a generation of safe spaces. 00:38:09
And and people that can't deal with stress. 00:38:15
And I don't know where to put it, but this job isn't a safe space. It's a lot of stress and a lot of people just don't want to do 00:38:17
it. So around the state of Alabama, across the country. 00:38:22
It used to be, hey, get people 21 years of age, they go to Academy, they come back. 00:38:26
Now you're looking for these 2829 year olds. That's done it at a little agency. Hey, come over here. You can make more money. The 00:38:30
benefits are better. 00:38:33
You can. You can fly a helicopter. You work in narcotics, you work at homicide. Stuff a little agencies don't have. 00:38:37
So that has shifted in the recruiting game. 00:38:42
As far as trying to get new people versus trying to steal from other agencies and like I said, the USA, that's what they're doing. 00:38:45
They're being very successful at it right now. 00:38:48
And I was telling Mr. Crowe earlier. 00:38:52
To. 00:38:56
You know, the court always say the answer is money. What's the question? 00:38:56
According to university is that they have over 100 plus applicants. 00:39:00
For these jobs. 00:39:06
Of experience candidates, not just applicants, experience candidate. 00:39:08
And they're. 00:39:12
They've changed the market dynamic to their credit. 00:39:14
I don't think we've had 100 applicants in a year. 00:39:17
Not good ones. 00:39:22
And certainly not experienced ones. 00:39:24
That. 00:39:27
That shows if you're willing to put the money, that you can increase your pool. 00:39:28
Of qualified at. Now that's one test sample, right? That's not. 00:39:35
You know, but that's one sample that we can look at, say. 00:39:39
That's a dynamic change that. 00:39:43
We have to look in the future and. 00:39:46
One of the things regardless of. 00:39:48
Well, one of the things coming out of this I hope that the. 00:39:52
Is it me, you and I talk, Mr. Busby, that maybe? 00:39:55
You as Chairman of Finance. 00:39:59
Miss Howard is chairman of Public Safety and Mr. Bell is. 00:40:00
Chairperson of Administrative committee. 00:40:05
If we could begin working together with our team members at the city and begin looking at. 00:40:08
Law enforcement and compensation for the future. 00:40:14
Because this, this, that's where we're going to have to lean into. 00:40:17
After we get through this, and not just a Band-Aid type of thing. 00:40:22
Today's a Band-Aid, make no mistake about it. 00:40:26
And. 00:40:30
Counselor to kind of answer yours. We you know we send recruiters to to schools about the latest recruiting all that kind of 00:40:30
stuff. I don't know a company that exists that's been successful because you're looking at you know all major cities are down 102 00:40:35
hundred cops we went to different programs because the new generation they don't like to talk in person they want to text so we 00:40:40
actually text the applicants. Yes we have went there we had one person that just applied that didn't want to talk to us on the 00:40:45
phone. 00:40:50
And he was too stressed out to talk to us on the phone. So we text him a little bit. We're like, hey dude, you're not for us. But 00:40:55
y'all would not believe some of the things, you know, we had one applicant passed everything else but said, hey, I'm so nervous I 00:41:00
got high this morning, smoked weed on the way to my polygraph. 00:41:05
Was. 00:41:10
But I mean that that's really what we're dealing with. I'm not making this stuff up, but I don't know if the comments are 00:41:13
successful about going out there. Our, our biggest thing is military and people, you know, coming out of criminal justice at all 00:41:18
the major universities and like so we have every major university in Alabama and Georgia. 00:41:23
In Tennessee as well. 00:41:29
Thank you, Chief. Again, we appreciate. 00:41:30
This ain't going away. 00:41:34
OK. 00:41:36
So the good news is. 00:41:36
Everybody at this table is committed to figuring out. 00:41:38
How does? 00:41:43
How do I won't even say solve? 00:41:44
Address it and get it partially solved. 00:41:46
Mostly soft. 00:41:49
So I wish. 00:41:50
Thanks for getting on the table today I. 00:41:52
I've begun going through some of the stuff. 00:41:55
That you've handed out. I'll probably talk with you or Lashonda about some of the additional. 00:41:58
And we will. 00:42:03
Look to have it back on the Finance Committee agenda. 00:42:05
Next week, and we will. 00:42:08
Hoped that by that time. 00:42:11
We've answered enough questions to bring it to a vote to move it to Council for the. 00:42:13
The following week. 00:42:18
I apologize, but we do got others. 00:42:19
Because you don't miss. 00:42:22
I know y'all are all stressed. 00:42:23
Just. 00:42:26
Student only do what you can do so much this. 00:42:27
Beyond your control. 00:42:29
Yes. 00:42:30
Ohh, we know, like I said, we're trying to do everything we do in life, the mayor says. You know since our agency is offers will 00:42:31
be, will be made the officers. 00:42:35
So we just hope for something as quickly as possible to try and put a Band-Aid on this so we can get a real fix. 00:42:39
Thank you all for your time and your consideration. Thank you. 00:42:44
Mr. Fayle, I'm going to ask in advance. I know you've got a big meeting. 00:42:49
I think it's going to take me at least 15 minutes to get through. 00:42:54
Left down here and anybody in this room that clock about 10 minutes. 00:42:59
Behind. 00:43:04
It's not right, it's 2 minutes, but you do what you need to do so. 00:43:06
I told Doctor Daria and Mr. Dukes yesterday I'd keep it to five to seven minutes. 00:43:11
I'm teeing it up to be about that. 00:43:18
Umm. 00:43:20
Item number two on our agenda today authorization is First District One improvement funds Council Wilson. Yes Sir, I'm requesting 00:43:22
to support the. 00:43:26
Backpack coalition. 00:43:31
Maybe wonderful work in supplies, school supplies. 00:43:33
Backpacks to children. 00:43:37
Of all ages. 00:43:40
And and some college students and. 00:43:42
I I wanted to share this experience. I know that it is. 00:43:44
Yeah. 00:43:48
A lot, but it is something that can help them as they continue their work. 00:43:48
Within our communities, they're there in all of our schools. 00:43:53
Some of the schools in my district, some of those kids would be benefited. 00:43:56
And I wanted to use some of those resources. I've volunteered 2 hours for them yesterday. So I'm there. Motion, So moved. Second 00:44:00
all in favor. Say aye. Aye. OK. 00:44:05
Disbursement District One Improvement Funds is approved Item number 3. 00:44:11
Authorization to disperse District 2 Improvement funds. 00:44:16
Sour I would like to. 00:44:19
Invite you all to my annual Backpack giveaway. And it's not just a backpack giveaway. We have select school supplies. We're going 00:44:23
to have free food that will be catered by Spade. 00:44:29
We have I got a call from bringing those lamb chops. 00:44:35
You know, you need to make sure that. 00:44:40
That we are going to end up. 00:44:43
There's gonna be a fun day. You're gonna have bouncy houses, food. 00:44:47
Face painting, we have DJ painting coming, so it's going to be a great time for the community to come out and get some, have lunch 00:44:51
with us and get some resources that they they're going to probably need before school starts along and also. 00:44:58
Including backpacks and school supplies And the McDonald Houston called me today and I actually had some. 00:45:06
Community members to drop off more school supplies, so we are looking forward to a great event. We plan for about 250. 00:45:11
Kids and so we always run out. So anybody that's interested please come out, but that's what my District 2 disbursement funds are 00:45:20
for and then on August the 6th I will be having another event. 00:45:27
Hosted. 00:45:34
By some community partners. 00:45:35
Where we will be giving away shoes. 00:45:37
Brand new shoes to individuals and I am going to give away about 15 pair of branded shoes to individuals that signed up for them, 00:45:41
but I'll be bringing you all more information about that event at a later date. 00:45:47
2nd. 00:45:54
All in favor? Say aye. Aye good. 00:45:55
Disbursement is approved. 00:45:57
Item number 4 Miss Standridge General Fund Budget Revision. 00:45:59
#18 00:46:03
good afternoon, Council. Good afternoon. The attached is for general fund budget revision #18. That's on page five of your 00:46:05
packets. This is the $12,000 budget revision request for sale of property when we have vacated York Street. We received that 00:46:12
property acquisition payment from the new owners of the street and we are requesting to put it into land purchases for the 00:46:19
acquisition of a new piece of property that's located on Richmond Rd. Northeast. 00:46:27
Work that was on top of your packet is the map and the district. 00:46:35
OK. 00:46:40
Go ahead Mr. that that so. So $12,000 in and and out. There is no change to the contingency or the bottom line of the general 00:46:44
fund. 00:46:48
Um, and then the? 00:46:52
Like Mickey said, there's the property descriptions in the packet. 00:46:53
OK. 00:46:57
Motion for a second. All in favor, say aye aye item is approved. 00:46:58
Doctor Gary. Mr. Dukes. 00:47:03
Welcome. 00:47:06
Thank. 00:47:07
Good afternoon. 00:47:08
Good afternoon. 00:47:10
Thank you all for having. Welcome to your entourage. 00:47:11
Thank you for having us here. On behalf of the school system and our board members, some of our representatives are here. We want 00:47:16
to say thank you to the Council for your partnership and your support. We are going to stick to the six minutes we were given. I 00:47:21
first want to say thank you. 00:47:25
If you hear nothing else, Mr. Duke is going to open the budget so you can see where we are. But since meeting with you all last 00:47:33
time in the in several times before then. 00:47:36
Um, your City Schools are. We're making progress. We're not where we need to be. We still have a long way to go. 00:47:40
But we have students, more students in dual enrollment than we've ever had before. Arts and music is thriving. Our athletics 00:47:47
program is building. We are making progress and a lot of that progress we can attribute to the support from the City Council. So 00:47:52
we say thank you very much. 00:47:56
I want to be straight with you. We you you're aware that we have three schools that were previously on what was called the failing 00:48:02
school list. 00:48:04
Um, Central Elementary made significant enough growth to get away from where it was. Bryant High School and Westland Middle School 00:48:08
made in modest to slight growth. But they've got a plan. We know what the issues are, and they're working on it. Our reading 00:48:14
scores took a little bit of a dive from our previous year. Again, we know exactly what it attributed to that, and our schools have 00:48:20
clear direction on what they're doing. 00:48:26
So that is where we're heading. Again, a lot of your support has allowed us to do those things that we've talked about. Mr. Duke 00:48:32
is gonna open up the the budget so you can see exactly where we are and we'll kind of conclude with what that allows us to do in 00:48:37
the City Schools. Thank you, Mark. 00:48:41
OK, thank you Doctor Gary, I'm glad to be here, Busby told me a couple of days ago, 8 minutes. Then he just said six, but before 00:48:47
that becomes more careful what you wish for. 00:48:52
They're very careful what you wish for. 00:48:58
So just important, just a brief overview of a look at our student count over the last few years. 00:49:04
And we got, of course, 21 academic campuses, 616 hundred employees run 180 bus routes daily. 00:49:09
And our student count is 1.4% of the total students in the state so. 00:49:18
We got a lot going on any given day. With 11,000 students, we've got 10% of the population of the city in our school building. So 00:49:24
brief look now at our sources of funds. 00:49:29
You'll see that the heavy part of it is from our what's called the State Foundation program, the State of Alabama. 00:49:36
The federal, that number is inflated a little bit right now because we've got some cares funds in the realm. Those will end in 00:49:44
about 15 or 16 months. 00:49:48
I'm going to drill down on the next slide just briefly about the county. 00:49:55
Amounts. 00:49:58
And those amounts come are comprised of. 00:50:00
Mainly sales tax and property tax. So that's the ad valorem tax on property. 00:50:04
And then the, the sales tax and that's what we call our local funds. 00:50:09
Our expenditures are intensive on instruction. 00:50:18
Here's a look at our last year's general funds. 00:50:22
And you'll see instructional services and instructional support services. 00:50:25
Comprise over 70% of our total expenditures. 00:50:29
In our systems, of course, operations and maintenance is next. 00:50:33
That's the air conditioned heating and the power bill and those type things. 00:50:36
The auxiliary services, that's a kind of a school system name for transportation. That's your school buses. 00:50:41
And then we are proud that that general administrative expense there is as low as it is. 00:50:47
It's below the 5% recommended by the state Superintendent of Education. We continue to track that monthly. 00:50:52
So. 00:50:59
What? What is the? 00:51:02
Say instructional services over at. 00:51:05
The vertical axis sits at, what, 55 million? 00:51:09
That's right. 00:51:13
And then? 00:51:14
It it goes down, what? 00:51:16
What's transpiring there? Well, instructional support services would be somewhere around 20,000. 00:51:19
Excuse me, 20 million? 00:51:26
So, Mr. Duke, will you tell us? 00:51:27
The difference between, well, The Who. 00:51:30
Of the instructional services who? Who do The Who does that? 00:51:32
As well as who does the support services so. 00:51:36
Those who don't understand it will. Kind of. 00:51:39
Give it just a. 00:51:42
I think the easiest answer is instructional services that the big number on the left. Think teachers. 00:51:43
In the classroom. 00:51:49
The support services would be everything basically other than. 00:51:52
Our custodial bus drivers. 00:51:56
Think principals, assistant principals. 00:51:59
Counselors, those type things. 00:52:02
We have over 800 teachers, OK, So that line, those lines as they slope down, that's not. 00:52:05
Representing a change, correct? 00:52:12
Correct. Those are data points. OK. 00:52:15
And the only points that matter or data lines are. 00:52:19
Here, here, here, here. 00:52:24
There and there, that's right. OK. Alright, Sorry, go ahead and I would like to touch on you see capital outlay we had an 00:52:27
intensive. 00:52:30
Ohh. 00:52:34
Capital plan back in 2015 sixteen 17 where we built new buildings update and so therefore we're not spending a lot in that area 00:52:34
because of our capital plan and. 00:52:41
Mr. Crowe might be familiar with that. 00:52:48
So. 00:52:51
Moving along, but by the way, you can see from our composition, when you finish the school board, you get to come back on finance. 00:52:52
That's what it was. 00:53:03
Yeah, that's it. 00:53:06
Mr. Wilson, this may a little bit further answer your question about our general fund budgeted salaries. They're intensive on 00:53:07
teachers at 59% and then there you see the other category. So this made better answer that. That's great question and so all the 00:53:13
other being again. 00:53:19
That 29% under all other being. 00:53:26
Custodial staff, bus drivers, those type. 00:53:29
Positions. 00:53:32
I mentioned our local funds, which again are ad valorem tax and sales tax. 00:53:36
Those funds are used to fund a lot of these things. These things you see on this slide here are not some of them are. 00:53:41
Not funded at all by the state funds. 00:53:49
And and all of them are not fully funded by state funds, therefore. 00:53:52
We use local funds to supplement all of the things that we do here locally in Tuscaloosa City Schools. 00:53:57
You see Elevate, we appreciate elevates, just a great thing and and and is doing a lot of good for a lot of students. 00:54:06
Heard a lot about CARES ACT. I won't go through all of these. That's what some of the CARES Act money. Most of that money is 00:54:15
earmarked. We've had a little flexibility as far as personnel. That's allowed us to temporarily, temporarily build up our. 00:54:21
Local General Fund. Again, those funds go away. 00:54:28
In about 15 or 16 months. So Jay, once those funds go away. 00:54:32
How will you sustain? 00:54:36
The personnel. 00:54:40
That you have or what is the plan for that to keep those personnel if they're needed? 00:54:42
Excellent question And and therein lies a huge question for this system going forward in the future. And and we will. 00:54:48
We will be having a lot of conversations coming up soon about that subject right there that that's a. 00:54:54
And I think and the reason I asked that question because. 00:55:01
I think it's important that the public understands where we are with it and what the implication and the impact. 00:55:03
Potentially will be if resources. 00:55:10
Are not. 00:55:15
Given. 00:55:16
And what the impact would be if? 00:55:17
Resources are given. 00:55:19
I think they need to know both, both sides. Mr. Wilson you you've touched on something I heard the mayor say earlier that the 00:55:21
three biggest events since he. 00:55:26
Has been in office, I think, coming up in the next few years. 00:55:31
For the city school system will be some landmark decisions that our community will have to make. 00:55:35
Let me just say this on on this COVID slide briefly and and a lot of you probably know this, but we got a temporary break for 00:55:41
about three to five years. 00:55:45
When we were closed. 00:55:50
We save some money, put it in the bank. 00:55:53
We got some CARES Act funds. We were able to strategically. 00:55:55
Maneuver. Some of those put that savings in the bank, but but that day's going to come to an end. 00:55:59
Not, not right now. Not next year. But that day's gonna come to an end and we'll have some landmark decisions to make to your to 00:56:05
your question, Yes, Sir. 00:56:08
This is just a recap and and and there the bottom I've got a few data points on some things that we are spending more money on 00:56:14
than ever as far as kids and and support of those kids and programs. 00:56:21
And I'm gonna go to the next slide, I'm gonna turn it over to Doctor Daria just to just to hit on a couple of things on some of 00:56:28
these slides of of our kids. 00:56:31
Yeah, yeah, so. 00:56:36
Mr. Wilson, I appreciate that question. We we are in the process of having to look at our budget priorities moving forward. 00:56:38
And when you look at our overall financials in jail conclude with that you'll see a fairly decent reserve. That reserve is is 00:56:44
there purposely to help us sustain for a brief period of time the services we have but we are at a position where our current. 00:56:51
We're having to evaluate our our revenues are exceeding our expenses, are exceeding our our revenues. So we have to examine that 00:56:58
as a school system. 00:57:02
Your allocation and the local support we have for education allows us to do the things you see here. We have more nurses than 00:57:06
we've ever had out of pure necessity. 00:57:10
I'll give you an example. We will have a student this year who will be on a ventilator that will require a full time nurse with 00:57:15
that student all day long throughout the entire day. 00:57:19
Necessary. We can't educate the student if the students not there, but we have more nurses than we've ever had, more social 00:57:24
workers than we've ever had. 00:57:28
Our arts program is is well supported with your help and thriving. TCTA is our workforce development arm and it is growing. We're 00:57:32
we have added a grow Your Own Teachers program this this year out of necessity because the same conversation that you just had 00:57:39
with our Tuscaloosa Police Department, we're having that same conversation about educators in in the teaching field. 00:57:47
We are proud of where we are and where we're going as a school system and your support helps us do that and we're enormously 00:57:55
grateful for it. 00:57:58
Are you seeing a? 00:58:02
Not there shift in. 00:58:04
Ohh. 00:58:07
Young young teachers not wanting to be. 00:58:08
Educators, we're seeing both a shift in the number of people going into education. 00:58:13
The number I gave you previously is a 50% decline in five years in Alabama alone and that's a 2 year old data. 00:58:18
We're also seeing that those who go in education don't remain in education. They're they get to about the three to five year mark 00:58:24
and they exit the profession. That's a national kind of. 00:58:29
Movement. We're seeing it in the Tuscaloosa City Schools. We have 36 vacancies today. We likely will open school with vacancies. 00:58:33
All of our students will be there, so we will find a way to make it happen, but we've got to go through that same examination that 00:58:40
TPD is going through with you all. 00:58:45
And. 00:58:50
During the. 00:58:51
The 2.62. 00:58:53
Just to ask this year. 00:58:55
You told me in our meeting that was up 2%. 00:58:57
That's right. And that's because of. 00:59:00
The state. 00:59:03
Of Alabama gave a 2% raise to the state funded employees. We will, as we have in the past, pass that along to the local. 00:59:05
Funded. 00:59:13
Units as well. And so we would humbly ask for 2%. That's our ask today. 00:59:14
2% over last year's to cover the locally funded units and what's the special appropriation? 00:59:19
What's that, The 378? 00:59:28
I think that may be some pass through money. 00:59:32
1/8. 00:59:35
I think so. 00:59:37
Like children's theater, school yard routes all that, so we see that there. 00:59:38
They give it to right and so. 00:59:44
Jake, would you have landed verify that I already have that information. 00:59:47
No. So the UM supplemental amount, there's. 00:59:52
59,854 career tech and fire for the Fire Science Program at the at the CTA. 00:59:56
There's 318,250 for pre-K funding, pre-K coordinator employed by USA. So that goes to elevate right? 01:00:02
No, Sir. That's that's on top of the elevator, the elevator mount. 01:00:12
And then there is the 50,000 for the new zone initiative. 01:00:18
That we have and that will that will be presented in the 24 budget for the new what zoning initiative, the zone initiative. 01:00:23
Alright, well, we'll come back then ask a question, sure. Absolutely. 01:00:31
This. 01:00:36
Request Jay. 01:00:37
Covers. 01:00:39
The rays. 01:00:40
For the teachers, right? 01:00:43
Then. 01:00:45
We also support. 01:00:46
Pay the payment on my 3 high schools too? Is that is that a separate? 01:00:50
That don't we don't. We support that and then there's also how much are we giving per K? 01:00:54
I mean, in addition, I mean like what's the total amount we're given for? Y'all are asking, we're giving to the City Schools. 01:01:00
This isn't all of it. 01:01:05
Right. 01:01:06
What? What's that number? 01:01:08
I don't know the number on the bottom or or the payment you have on the high schools, but that's you, I think you all have. That's 01:01:09
doesn't that rise on your back? 01:01:13
OK. But it's elevated separate, yeah, yeah. 01:01:18
Actually, but this is just strictly. 01:01:24
Your request. 01:01:26
To to. 01:01:27
Keep you whole on that race, right? And what we call unearned allocation, and this is what we've been. 01:01:28
Sure, that's right. It's still helping these other areas. 01:01:35
Yes. 01:01:37
Alright. Any other questions? 01:01:39
No, Sir. 01:01:42
Thank you very much. 01:01:44
Is there any other business to be brought before the Finance Committee? 01:01:46
Your motion to adjourn All in favor Say aye, aye. 01:01:50
Can we start it? 01:01:55
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Alright, let's call in session today's Finance Committee. 00:00:00
Gentleman, if you would take a look at the minutes from our last meeting. 00:00:03
And there is if there is a motion to adopt those, will entertainment. 00:00:07
Motion to approve, Mr. Chairman. Second, all in favor. Say aye, aye. 00:00:14
Yeah, minutes are adopted. 00:00:18
Item number one. 00:00:20
Please Police Department retention presentation and proposal. Mayor Maddox, you present. 00:00:24
But we we appreciate you allowing us to get this all. 00:00:30
Saying. 00:00:34
The House telling a group on Friday as we were discussing this. 00:00:36
That in my time as mayor, probably the two greatest challenges that that I have faced. 00:00:41
Have been the tornado of April 27, 2011. 00:00:47
And COVID? 00:00:52
I am now ready to say that. 00:00:54
Ensuring that we have a fully operational Police Department is now the third. 00:00:56
Greatest challenge that I believe. 00:01:02
Than I have faced, at least in my tenure. 00:01:05
With the city of Tuscaloosa, that's how serious I think. 00:01:07
The challenges in front of us. 00:01:13
And while we felt it was necessary to move forward with a pretty broad and quite frankly in this expensive investment. 00:01:15
Into the Tuscaloosa Police Department, so if we can pull up the presentation itself. 00:01:26
We titled it Staying Strong. 00:01:34
And one of the things that we are appreciative of at the Tuscaloosa Police Department, I know this is something that. 00:01:37
That Chief, and I talked about a lot, is what this Council has done. 00:01:43
For for the Tuscaloosa Police Department since 2021. 00:01:48
This council passed one of the most well, the most expensive at the time. 00:01:52
Pay plan in the city's history for law enforcement and for Tuscaloosa Fire. 00:01:58
You recently just approved $5000. 00:02:03
Sign on bonus within TPD with a 2500. 00:02:06
Dollar referral bonus take home cars for our patrol division which was upfront a $3,000,000 investment with another 1.5 million in 00:02:10
operational year. 00:02:14
And then you have taken on the challenge of RSA conversion which for both fire and police. 00:02:20
Which will be the most expensive city investment in its entire history? 00:02:26
That's what That's the size and significance. 00:02:31
Of what this Council has invested not only in the TPD but also in Tuscaloosa Fire and Rescue. 00:02:35
And your investments have paid off. 00:02:41
When you look and and as you may have read in the last week's Mayors Minute. 00:02:44
When you go to social media and you you go to and you look at it, it's it's. 00:02:50
Hard to judge when someone says crime is down, but crime is down in Tuscaloosa. 00:02:56
These are the debt. This is the data that we report to the FBI each and every year. 00:03:01
And one of the things that makes it even more remarkable. 00:03:06
Is that since my first year as mayor, we've grown by more than 25,000 people as a city. If if our growth were city alone, it would 00:03:10
be one of the top 25 biggest cities in Alabama. 00:03:16
To give you some sense of just how much we have grown as a community and so. 00:03:22
For TPD to achieve what they've achieved. 00:03:26
It it's it's certainly makes us all very proud of what we've been able to do as a community. 00:03:30
And really the certainly there have been partners, but I give Chief Swindle, Chief Anderson, Chief Blankley and all the men and 00:03:36
women during that time. 00:03:40
The credit for being able to make certain that crime is down in our community. 00:03:45
And even when you look over the last four years at the Major Crimes in our city. 00:03:51
They continue to be down. 00:03:56
It doesn't mean we're not focused on that. It doesn't mean it's that it's. 00:03:58
It's never far from us. 00:04:03
When 41% of the city's general fund budget actually goes into public safety, certainly you know where our heart is by where we're 00:04:05
making the investments. 00:04:09
But we should all take a step back and recognize the amazing work, the strength of the Tuscaloosa Police Department. 00:04:15
And when you think about a a city department that responds to citizens. 00:04:24
Last year, in 2022, we responded to nine 93,027 calls. 00:04:30
An average of 255 average costs per day. 00:04:36
I maybe got a handful of complaints you probably I would assume got a handful of complaints. 00:04:41
What business has that many interactions? 00:04:47
And so few complaints. And when TPD responds, it's not. Most of the time, it's not to. 00:04:51
Get a cat out of a tree. 00:04:56
You know. 00:04:59
It is because. 00:05:00
Something bad is happening. 00:05:02
Somebody is concerned whether it's a DVD case, whether it's a missing child. 00:05:04
God forbid it's a homicide. 00:05:09
Our police officers are responding into the most difficult situations. 00:05:12
Mr. Bill, I don't have to tell you because you lived it. 00:05:16
Every day. 00:05:19
The things that you see in the significant event reports that you receive every day gives us all a glimpse of what the men and 00:05:21
women of the Tuscaloosa Police Department. 00:05:25
Are responding to. 00:05:29
And I'm very proud of our response times. 00:05:31
Especially in this uncertain. 00:05:35
Atmosphere. 00:05:38
But as I mentioned earlier. 00:05:40
This wouldn't be the third greatest challenge that we faced or I faced in my career with the city. 00:05:41
If there wasn't a challenge, and we have one today, we are sixty officers short. We have 291. 00:05:48
Full-time equivalents of sworn police officers. 00:05:54
Between the vacancies, which are near 40. 00:05:58
And those in training, as of this morning it equals 60. 00:06:01
Those that are in training, our officers that are being that are a post certified that are. 00:06:05
Are getting a post certified or in the first year of employment? 00:06:09
Because our training standards are so rigorous. 00:06:13
We normally do not let an officer out. 00:06:17
By themselves until after their first year. 00:06:19
We have never compromised on our training standards and again I get chief swindle. 00:06:24
And Chief Anderson and Chief Blankley. The credit. 00:06:28
Those leaders have always told me we never sacrifice on training. 00:06:32
That's how you become a Minneapolis. 00:06:36
That's how you become a Ferguson. 00:06:38
That's how you become a Baltimore. 00:06:40
Is when you sacrifice on the quality of the hires that you make and the training that you provide. 00:06:42
Your officers. 00:06:48
But the fact of the matter is, we're sixty officers short. 00:06:50
We're an 82% operational capacity today. 00:06:53
Making matters worse, 73% of our patrol division has less than five years. 00:06:57
Of experience. We do not have a lot of experience within the division itself that touches. 00:07:03
The majority of the personnel are the majority of the people. 00:07:11
In our community. 00:07:15
So why are we in this position? 00:07:16
We've attempted to either quantify or qualify. 00:07:18
Four reasons. But there is an overarching theme that none of us can get lost, and that is. 00:07:23
That nationwide law enforcement is not a very popular profession, especially following the the death of George Floyd. 00:07:29
Law enforcement itself is just not attractive. 00:07:38
We have very few applicants come in, very few that can meet our qualifications. 00:07:43
And that is something that is just not isolated to the city of Tuscaloosa. This is a nationwide. 00:07:49
Phenomenon. 00:07:56
That we all have to acknowledge and accept. 00:07:57
So that is. 00:08:01
That is to me, a cloud that's over everything that we are trying to do at this point. 00:08:03
But what we've tried to do in this presentation is also localized, while we believe we're in this position as well. 00:08:08
1st. 00:08:16
We're policing bars instead of protecting neighborhoods. 00:08:17
And. 00:08:22
That is to me when you look at the data. 00:08:23
It's it's a dynamic that we have got to change and it leads to another problem that I'll discuss in a second. 00:08:27
The city of Tuscaloosa 70.3 square miles. 00:08:34
Within our city we have 39 bars and gastropubs. 00:08:39
We have 29 of those within our downtown and university corridor. 00:08:43
Last year in 22. 00:08:49
Of all the revenue those 39 generated was $2.3 million. 00:08:52
Can can you save this slide for admin and? 00:08:58
Please my exact thoughts. Thank you. I'll go ahead and love and this is not an attack on bars. 00:09:01
This is just showing you where we're having before in resources. 00:09:07
Please don't say that none of the overtime. This is not event for game days, which we know we have to do. 00:09:11
16 amphitheater shows a year. 00:09:19
8 or 9 live at the plazas. 00:09:22
Six weeks of holidays on the river. 00:09:25
TTS special events that include any of that stuff. 00:09:28
Just alone in that University Blvd. strip corridor, we anticipate $750,000 just in overtime. That's not asset value cost, that's 00:09:32
not the personnel that are already assigned to that shift that are in that area. 00:09:39
We are pouring in a lot of resources. 00:09:48
To be the entertainment hub. 00:09:52
Of W Alabama. 00:09:55
It comes certainly with the positive. 00:09:57
But it also comes with the negative of us having to provide. 00:09:59
An enormous, enormous amount. 00:10:04
Of. 00:10:07
Police assets and resources. 00:10:08
And then you look at what we've seen since the beginning of this year, 11 applications for bars and gastropubs. 00:10:11
Which I think led to, which I believe led to your decision that I support. 00:10:18
Of. 00:10:24
Let's create a freeze a moment in time. 00:10:24
So that we can put together some recommendations to help. 00:10:27
Really. 00:10:32
Lessen the density of bars and gastropubs, especially in that downtown University Blvd. Corridor. 00:10:34
We also have another factor here locally that we have to deal with. 00:10:42
That's officer burnout. 00:10:46
Those events that I talked about earlier, the mandatory overtime for UA events right now or yesterday Chief was telling me that 00:10:49
officers are all offering other officers up to $150.00 to take a mandatory shift of overtime. 00:10:55
Just so they don't have to work it. 00:11:03
UA Sports, Graduations. Amphitheater, concerts, because we have a lot going on in Tuscaloosa. 00:11:05
Because we are the communities hub for entertainment. 00:11:13
Our officers are being forced to work these events. 00:11:17
And we live in an environment now with active shooters. 00:11:20
We live in an event where he's a little bit more dangerous. We just cannot not have police officers. 00:11:24
Out there protecting the public. 00:11:30
The other dynamic change of this. 00:11:32
Is that officers value family time instead of overtime. 00:11:35
Mr. Fail has heard me tell the story of some of our other team members have when I was first elected mayor, I met with a group of 00:11:40
police officers. 00:11:43
Who were angry that they weren't getting enough overtime? 00:11:46
We would fight for that. 00:11:49
They felt that the the brass were getting all the overtime and the lower level weren't getting any of the overtime. 00:11:51
And so. 00:11:59
The dynamic has changed. 00:12:00
This new generation of workforce. 00:12:02
They want to work their 4045 hours a week. 00:12:05
And they want to go home. They're not interested in what the overtime check. 00:12:08
Can bring to them. 00:12:12
And we're seeing our officers are exhausted. 00:12:14
There they are burned out. We are working them time and time again and with each vacancy. 00:12:17
Means someone else has to step up. 00:12:24
I see. We've got members of our school board here. It's like teachers in the classroom. You have to have a teacher in the 00:12:26
classroom. You have to have a police officer on the beat. 00:12:30
There's just no letting that vacancy rise. 00:12:34
The next challenge that we face is salary competition. Now, just two years ago, we were #1. 00:12:38
In the state of Alabama, the table to the left that says police. 00:12:44
Today we are #8. 00:12:48
We're #3 in our own county. 00:12:50
Recently, the university just announced a starting salary of 65,000. 00:12:54
That's for no experience not being a POST. 00:13:01
So the majority of our officers that would qualify for that would come in actually 71,000. 00:13:04
That's almost $20,000 higher than our starting pay. 00:13:10
So you you think about the dynamic that that's created and I commend the university for wanting to pay their police officers. 00:13:16
That type of salary I I certainly wish we could afford to do that and sustain it over time. 00:13:25
But it has. It has certainly created now a dining new dynamic in the marketplace. 00:13:32
For the value of police officers. 00:13:39
And we have to acknowledge that reality. 00:13:41
Especially in a dynamic where again, an officer values their family time over overtime. 00:13:45
If I can have a base salary. 00:13:52
Higher. 00:13:55
And have more time off. 00:13:56
And that is a tough dynamic to compete against. 00:13:59
For the city of Tuscaloosa. 00:14:03
On the other side, just because we're always, you know, we always get the fire and police. 00:14:07
As of this year, we are still number one in the state. 00:14:11
Northport is right there with us, but as Chief blankly reminded me, and I'm sure Chief Smith would echo in. 00:14:15
If you factored in north ports. 00:14:22
Cheaper health insurance benefit. They're probably, in terms of total package, ahead of us. 00:14:25
On both bar. 00:14:31
And police. And by the way, this I'm going to get to my editorial point. 00:14:32
Because we do so much for the community. 00:14:36
We don't get the luxury of investing more in our employees. 00:14:39
We have to run the airport, We have to provide Mercedes Fire Protection. 00:14:42
We are called upon to do those things. 00:14:46
Which ultimately means less we can all ultimately do for all employees where other jurisdictions don't have those 00:14:49
responsibilities. 00:14:52
To the greater community. 00:14:57
And so when you look at UA PD's new salary schedule in particular again. 00:14:59
The majority of our officers that applied and would be hired would come in at 71,000, which would be 20,000 base salary higher. 00:15:04
Plus, with a signing bonus, their total compensation is 78,740. 00:15:12
Today of of the 261 positions we have at TPD. 00:15:19
180 Two of our officers base salary is below. 00:15:25
80,000. 00:15:29
Now a lot of our salaries, a lot of our officers will make more of that in terms of total compensation because of the mandatory 00:15:31
overtime. 00:15:35
That we are forcing officers to work but base salary 180 two of our 261 officers. 00:15:39
Make below. 00:15:46
80,000. 00:15:47
Certainly RSA conversion plays a role. 00:15:50
And what we're up against? 00:15:54
Now here's the good news, and I put this in as an informational slide for the council and the public. 00:15:56
As of today, I think this number will be higher once we get the the. 00:16:03
The actuaries updated report. 00:16:07
When we moved our SAP conversion, that's going to be an annual cost of 8.1. Again. I I think that number is going to be a little 00:16:09
bit higher than that. 00:16:13
It provide it will provide each of our officers in additional 10,000 officers and firefighter 10,986 dollar annual benefit. 00:16:18
And they will see a decrease of $2362. 00:16:27
In conversion. 00:16:31
Right now, if we had to make a recommendation to the City Council, we're three years away from RSA. 00:16:33
In our financial modeling, we believe that the probably the optimal date for us to go in and be able to sustain that for the next 00:16:40
40 to 50 years. 00:16:45
Would be October 1st, 2026. 00:16:49
That's today again, we we've got a lot more work to do. 00:16:53
We as a staff haven't come to a conclusion so we're not close to having a recommendation. 00:16:58
For the City Council. 00:17:03
We believe. 00:17:05
That. 00:17:07
Immediate action. 00:17:08
Is required. 00:17:10
So we would recommend. 00:17:12
A $10,000. 00:17:14
Officer retention bonus. 00:17:16
This would be for our non probationary employees. So employees that are currently working for us that are non probationary. 00:17:18
Once they moved into non probationary status, excuse me, those that are probationary moved into non probationary status. 00:17:26
They then would qualify for the $10,000 retention bonus. 00:17:33
In return for the the immediate payout of that. 00:17:38
You would sign a two year agreement to stay with the City of Tuscaloosa. 00:17:42
In the Tuscaloosa Police Department. 00:17:47
Or be obligated to repay that. 00:17:49
Back to the city. 00:17:51
If you decided to leave. 00:17:53
I want to be clear in saying that this is not a long term solution. 00:17:56
This is about trying to make certain we. 00:18:02
Give the Council. 00:18:06
With the Police Department, the City Council. 00:18:08
Time to really look at how we adjust. 00:18:11
To the new and evolving dynamic of law enforcement itself and the pay and compensation surrounding. 00:18:15
This investment would cost $3.2 million. 00:18:24
And it would be a one year 18% increase on average. 00:18:28
For our employees benefit. 00:18:34
So how would we pay for it? 00:18:37
This year we have 1.5 million anticipated and TPD salary savings. 00:18:39
We've also have 177,000 that we have not or appropriated. 00:18:46
For special bonuses within TPD. 00:18:52
And then through other citywide salary savings and other 1.4 million. 00:18:55
So we would fund this out of 23 fiscal budget. 00:19:01
By using the anticipated salary savings. 00:19:04
With the lion's share of that coming from TPD salary savings itself. 00:19:07
So in large part, their salary savings are funding the very bonus. 00:19:12
Which they would. 00:19:17
Receive. 00:19:18
We present this today because public safety is absolutely positively. 00:19:21
Our top priority? 00:19:25
And one of the things that I fail to mention is we localize our recruitment. 00:19:27
Concerns. 00:19:33
And I do not blame our competitors. 00:19:34
But UPD. 00:19:37
Northport Sheriff's Office. 00:19:40
They use against us that if you come to work for TPD. 00:19:42
You're going to be in an urban environment dealing with urban issues. 00:19:46
30 weekends a year. 00:19:50
Go home. You can kiss. You can kiss the family goodbye. 00:19:52
Because you're working. 00:19:56
On addition to your other schedule. 00:19:58
And we are paying benefits is either now significantly higher. 00:20:01
Or as good as what you're getting at the Tuscaloosa Police Department. 00:20:05
This is our challenge. 00:20:12
We were. 00:20:16
Certainly I do not believe I would be making this recommendation today if it wasn't for the announcement of a couple of weeks ago. 00:20:17
But when twelve of our officers immediately and began the process of go inquiring into HR regarding benefit transfers. 00:20:23
App following a news release regarding the new pay plan. 00:20:33
We felt it was necessary to to. 00:20:38
Show a strong sign of support to our officers. 00:20:41
That we acknowledge this new dynamic. 00:20:45
We're going to invest to try to make it happen. 00:20:47
I'm gonna stop here because I know there's going to be some questions. 00:20:51
Chief and his command team is here to answer any questions. 00:20:55
And Miss Standridge and her team are here to answer any questions. 00:20:58
And again, I appreciate the opportunity to present this today and we look forward. We're not asking for any vote today. We 00:21:02
certainly would as I emailed would like to see. 00:21:08
A vote come up to be scheduled next week on finance and then the following week. 00:21:14
To the City Council. So, Mr. Busby, we'll be happy to answer any questions that you may have. Sure. Thank you. Mayor. Chief, is 00:21:18
there any remarks you want to make? 00:21:22
To open it up. 00:21:27
I first want to thank the mayor. The council finds me everybody who's working on this. I don't have to tell you all what we do 00:21:28
every day. I think you know it. We're one of the only only employees in the city that gets spit on a daily basis. 00:21:34
That gets in fights on a daily basis, that break bones on a daily basis. 00:21:40
All these gentlemen over here, everyone has a broken bones from the city. 00:21:44
Y'all been amazing. 00:21:48
To. 00:21:49
Help compensate us for that. 00:21:50
But when you have other agencies that that do less work than we do and a better working environment and don't face the same things 00:21:52
we do and then the salary schedule that comes on top of that, it's tough to keep officers. 00:21:58
I know we've had five to six officers already interview over at University Alabama. 00:22:03
I had one officer, he's amazing Officer. He's actually. 00:22:08
If you walk out that that hallway right there, he's on a a big poster board out there with his dog. 00:22:10
Who says he just can't pass this up? 00:22:15
Some of the other officers we talked to about the $10,000 bonus. 00:22:18
And they said, you know, wow, you know, the city is looking at doing this. This is amazing. 00:22:21
You know, I'll think about staying. 00:22:25
I'm not gonna sit up here and act like $10,000 is gonna fix all this. It's not. 00:22:27
But one thing it does is, I do know police officers, if they've got a project at home or they're wanting to buy something, it's 00:22:32
enough to, I think, keep some of them here. It's a Band-Aid. 00:22:36
Um. 00:22:41
As far as the salary schedule, I've talked to most all of you individually. 00:22:41
And I would have never imagined 18 years ago that that police would change the way it has. 00:22:45
Um. 00:22:51
Nobody wants to do this job and quite frankly, for some people I can't blame him. 00:22:52
You know when you go to work everyday and and you're, you know you're you're in a fight nonstop. It's like man, can I go do 00:22:56
something else for this money? 00:23:00
But we're lucky here because we do have men and women that come here every single day that that love doing this job and when I 00:23:04
trade anything for it. 00:23:07
But I believe that we we've also got to look at the future because as the mayor said, this isn't a fix, this is a holding pattern. 00:23:11
That I believe when we do this we can keep officers here and keep them from going to UA and other places. 00:23:18
The one thing that we do compete with. 00:23:24
And at a problem we have is we don't have RSA right now. 00:23:26
You know some at least from Northport and goes to the University of Alabama or goes to other agency. They could pull from a 00:23:29
smaller department. 00:23:32
We can't do that. Nobody's gonna leave A789 year retirement with RSA to come to the Police Department to start over at 25 years. 00:23:35
So we have that going against us, that's hurting us really bad and y'all been very support full of saying hey, we are going to go 00:23:42
to RSA and we're going to make that happen, but right now that that is a issue that we have. 00:23:47
We just really like your consideration. You know, all these bonuses, you know, these guys work hard every day. The other thing is, 00:23:53
you know, like the mayor said, we're sixty officers short once you do the training. 00:23:58
These guys and girls are having to make up for that every single day sound like we're just like, hey, we can't do this. They're 00:24:03
working harder and harder every day to do that. 00:24:07
And you know the burning out quick. 00:24:11
You know to this, it's also not only retention, but better morale thing of hey, look, the city is looking out for you. 00:24:13
And I will answer any questions that I can answer in my command staff can answer as well. 00:24:19
First of all, thank you. 00:24:25
And y'all and. 00:24:28
And your men and women too. 00:24:29
People who don't know what it's like to have brave people show up armed to take care of you. 00:24:35
Are missing out. It's a big deal. 00:24:41
Um, I And I I think this council's action. 00:24:46
Has reflected the reality of what I mean. We have not said no to a single thing. Not only have we not said no. 00:24:50
We said yes. 00:24:58
Unanimously. So that speaks louder than than any yak yak I can do up here. 00:24:59
About the value we place on that. 00:25:07
I will say. 00:25:09
So. 00:25:11
We're we're somewhat caught off guard. 00:25:13
That we've dipped into. 00:25:16
A crisis have to do something I. 00:25:19
I did. We've known. 00:25:22
We've known about the shortage that. 00:25:24
That that didn't sneak up on us. 00:25:27
Has something changed? Yes, Sir. You, UH, changed the game. And I'm just gonna speak, you know, we we work with LAPD every single 00:25:31
day. 00:25:35
The problem is if you have a another job in the city. 00:25:39
You hire somebody in three weeks later they kind of learned that job. 00:25:45
With us, it's a year to year and a half before they're by themselves. 00:25:48
If we lose 6789 officers. 00:25:51
We're we're in trouble. 00:25:54
I'm not going to sugarcoat that because the problem is. 00:25:55
It takes a year and a half to replace that person. 00:25:58
And. And that's what's caused this. I know I've got about 11 people that's applied. I know at least six have interviewed so far. 00:26:01
One's already been hired. 00:26:05
We can't afford to lose 678910 officers. 00:26:09
Because we do that, we're going to pull those officers from somewhere to put them on the streets for that year and a half. That's 00:26:12
going to be cases that aren't going to be solved. That's going to be schools that don't aren't going to be as protected. 00:26:17
It is a crisis because they've changed the game, Birmingham ARE creator told me. Today they're putting out a new package. 00:26:22
It's a premium for officers right now. I never thought I'd see it, but you a changed the game. They changed the dynamics and where 00:26:30
Northport and the county, if they have people go over, they can pull more from RSA. They can get that officer that's been a small 00:26:35
department or another department for six and seven years. They put them through a two-month training. That's it man. They're good 00:26:39
to go. 00:26:44
We can't do that because we're not going to get the officers from other places. We've hired 1A post officer this year. 00:26:48
That's it. 00:26:54
Because they're just not coming here because of the retirement package. So if you put Northport in the county up here, they're 00:26:55
worried right here losing people. We're up here because we can't replace them near as quick. And I want to add to the emergency as 00:27:00
Chief said, was you a PD and it's just not the immediate. 00:27:05
You AUD. To their credit, I believe in chief. Correct me if I'm wrong, it's hiring 20 additional officers on top of A. 00:27:10
A force that was near 80, if not a little bit above 80. 00:27:17
So they're probably as large as the Sheriff's Department. UA's goal is to go to 102. I think they were in the 60s when they 00:27:20
started this process and and so not only are we talking about for their existing officers, they're increasing their FTE by 20. 00:27:27
And our concern is over the next two to three years with such a higher pay schedule if we lose four or five officers. 00:27:34
That man, especially where we are today. 00:27:42
Impacts us. 00:27:45
I think. 00:27:48
This as Chief said not I think I believe what we're proposing. 00:27:49
Barbs us. 00:27:54
Six months. 00:27:56
To two years. 00:27:57
That, that, that would be a range and if I were on the Council. 00:27:58
And the mayor presented me a $3.2 million six to two year solution. I would have pause. 00:28:02
But. 00:28:10
PD is at the core of what we do every single day. 00:28:11
We are also going to need time to develop something to recognize the change in market value. 00:28:15
Not only is the pay difference been influenced. 00:28:21
We ask our officers to do more than these other agencies. 00:28:26
We have to acknowledge that to attract them because even just staying even with our competitors, I don't think we can match UAD. 00:28:30
But just staying even, you know, some levels with the county and Northport. 00:28:39
Don't change the equation of that 40 hours. I can go work 40 hours there and. 00:28:43
And go to an Alabama football game. 00:28:48
Our officers, they get to stand outside the stadium for the luxury of 16 hours a day. 00:28:52
That's the dynamic we're faced with and it used to be not a problem because officers of the past wanted that overtime, the 00:28:59
officers of today. 00:29:03
Do not want that responsibility on top of Amphitheatre. Live at the Plaza Holidays on the river through Cedars Festival. 00:29:07
Graduations. 00:29:15
Bama bound. You name it. 00:29:16
Yeah, ask them to serve. And also I know in recruiting, I'm sure one of y'all is saying yourself, what are y'all doing? You're 00:29:19
creating? I'm glad y'all answered. Ask that question. 00:29:24
So. 00:29:28
2 pages of every recruitment we've gone. I was just about to ask. It was coming, I felt. 00:29:31
Ohh, did you tell me that you already 2 full-time recruiters? That's all they do. 00:29:38
Is going to recruit events. 00:29:43
Umm 2 and three times a week. 00:29:45
All over the state, all over Georgia, every military event that's coming out or putting people out. 00:29:47
So we're maximizing, and Dr. Rush's team helps us every single day trying to recruit. We pay, you know, a web service as well. 00:29:52
We're doing everything we can on recruiting, but if you look at that new hire test result to the top I just showed you. 00:30:00
In January 15 Applied 8. Tried out all eight failed the background check. 00:30:06
Zero higher February 20th, Plot 8 tried out. 00:30:11
Six failed the background, two higher it's month after month in June 36 applied. 00:30:14
9 tried out nine. All failed the hiring process. We hired 0. 00:30:20
We're not changing our standards and when I talk about failing the background, they can't pass the PT or they can't pass the 00:30:26
written test. 00:30:30
Or the polygraph, I failed. 00:30:34
So. 00:30:36
We have a standard that we're not willing to move on. 00:30:37
But the quality of applicants that we're getting, you don't want on the street. 00:30:40
Because that's how you end up on CNN and YouTube. 00:30:44
And everywhere else. And we're not willing to to sacrifice our standard that we have the police warrant for that. This standard 00:30:47
has held true. 00:30:50
But some of the simple stuff they they can't pass. Their generation cannot pass And Mr. I'm go just one. I apologize, Mr. Wilson, 00:30:54
one thing, I think it's important. 00:30:59
And. 00:31:03
We we certainly want to pass this, but moving forward, Mr. Busby and I really appreciate your time on Friday when we talked about 00:31:04
this. 00:31:08
We we're going to have to reevaluate. 00:31:13
Our priorities over the next three to five years to meet this moment. 00:31:16
They're They're just the. 00:31:20
The things that we wanted to accomplish. 00:31:22
I think we're there's some of those things we're just going to have to pause. 00:31:26
And address the long-term part of this to deal with public safety. 00:31:31
And I want the Council to know that I am absolutely committed to that. 00:31:35
It is the responsible thing to do as both. 00:31:40
Of the mayor, but also as a citizen of this community that when I pick up the phone and call 911. 00:31:44
I don't want to have to wait 10/15/20 minutes for a police officer to respond. 00:31:49
Mr. Wilson, Yes, Sir. 00:31:54
Thank you so much, Mr. Mayor and Chief. 00:31:56
For your own. 00:31:58
Opportunity to show us this. 00:32:00
Presentation. 00:32:02
Mr. Chairman. 00:32:04
I. 00:32:06
I want to. 00:32:08
Go on record today of saying we we need to do this to help our police officers. 00:32:09
Um. 00:32:13
Couple of days ago I was getting ready to go to bed. 00:32:16
And heard shots. 00:32:20
In my community. 00:32:22
And went out to. 00:32:24
Where that shooting was that it took place. 00:32:26
Two young men. 00:32:30
Shooting each other like. 00:32:32
It was Bonanza. 00:32:34
And um. 00:32:36
There's a. There's a dynamic shift. 00:32:37
There's a culture shift. 00:32:40
That's happening within our city. 00:32:41
And. 00:32:44
Listening to those older people say. 00:32:45
You know, we don't want this in our community. We're tired of this. 00:32:48
And. 00:32:52
Chief came out there. 00:32:53
Those officers. 00:32:55
Should have been able to do their job. 00:32:59
But because of. 00:33:01
The choices that some people make. 00:33:03
They had to be out there. 00:33:05
That a scene where two people had gotten shot in the chest. 00:33:07
We want to save community. 00:33:10
Our police officers. 00:33:13
It takes innovation skill. 00:33:14
Tenacity. Bravery. 00:33:17
And desire to do this job. I I wouldn't want that job. 00:33:19
No. 00:33:23
But I do think. 00:33:24
That we will have to, in the next three to five years, begin to think about. 00:33:26
What does public safety look like? 00:33:31
What does policing look like? 00:33:33
I can't speak for nobody else. 00:33:36
District. 00:33:37
But. 00:33:39
I want when when I call the police. 00:33:40
I want them to be able to come. 00:33:43
To our rescue. 00:33:45
And to come in our community. 00:33:47
And I and I'm afraid if we don't do something. 00:33:50
That. 00:33:53
That might not happen. 00:33:55
Yeah. 00:34:00
First off, I just Chiefs want to thank. 00:34:02
All of y'all for what you did. 00:34:05
Because. 00:34:08
You have a very, very difficult job. 00:34:09
And when you. 00:34:13
Get on the City Council or whatever, whatever city in America. 00:34:15
I don't think you really understand. 00:34:19
What goes into a lot of the things that make our city be successful? We are blessed to have a. 00:34:22
Dedicated police. 00:34:27
And fire report. 00:34:29
And that that. 00:34:32
I think everybody would agree with that. When we first got on the council, I'm going to go back to what the mayor had in slides. 00:34:33
We've been here two years. 00:34:41
Rough. 00:34:43
We passed. 00:34:44
Pipeline, right? 00:34:45
We committed to go to RSA. 00:34:47
We committed to do take home cars. 00:34:49
We added sign on referral bonuses. Now we're looking at doing a retention bonus. 00:34:52
And the thing that that that worries me the most is it's not enough. 00:34:57
Because I don't think this is going to solve. 00:35:03
Your problem 100% and I think all of us want to know well what. 00:35:06
Is going to solve that problem. And what right I mean. One of the things we were talking about earlier is. 00:35:09
One of the biggest things used against us, money is important. I think some of the working conditions probably is important. 00:35:13
Retirement. 00:35:17
Is a big deal because if if you had. 00:35:21
The retirement that everybody else has. 00:35:23
You would have a bigger pool of people to pull from that wouldn't probably have to go through the training that you have. 00:35:26
To get him on the straight, right? 00:35:32
But it is. 00:35:36
So important for us as a city. 00:35:39
To if we don't have a safe city. 00:35:43
If we don't have. 00:35:45
People. 00:35:47
Feeling good about what's happening in our city that is going to spill over into everything else. 00:35:48
Economic development. It's gonna if people aren't gonna want to come here, students aren't gonna wanna come here. I mean, this is 00:35:53
one of the critical. 00:35:57
Issues that we have facing us as a city. 00:36:01
And there is no doubt about that and I've, you know. 00:36:05
I for one. 00:36:08
I think everybody's sitting at this table supports you guys. We want to make sure we find a way to make all these things work. 00:36:09
One question I am going to ask you though is. 00:36:15
And and I hate that my. 00:36:19
My friend Russell times trucking apologize on this but. 00:36:21
But I remember for many, many years as I had my own business. 00:36:25
We never had to recruit. 00:36:31
I never spent any money on advertising. Right? It it was. 00:36:34
Somebody's working for me and us. 00:36:37
And they. 00:36:40
Went out there and called their friends or recommended. This is a great place to go to work right? 00:36:41
And I'm sure that still happens today in some ways. 00:36:45
But everything changed five, 6-7 years ago. I don't care what industry you're in, everything changed, right? 00:36:49
And and I when I was talking to the mayor about this, I think I was talking to you that yesterday chief. 00:36:55
We have to. We had to start recruiting and then we we had to start paying firms. 00:37:01
For example, to bring us, I would say qualified applicants now, whether they drive a truck or whatever they do for us. 00:37:06
That kind of gets them in the process potentially to be hired, right? 00:37:14
My question and I'm glad Lashonda is here too, is. 00:37:20
Have we taken a critical look at at how we are recruiting? 00:37:24
Is there anything that we're missing? Do we have people looking at this? I feel like I know the answer, but. 00:37:29
But since the world has changed, we're we're going to have to change probably even more. 00:37:35
And the recruit people. So I mean, can you address that cause that that's really been on my mind a lot since we talked. Yes, Sir, 00:37:40
I'll address and I'll let Lashonna follow up on ours. I've talked to a lot of chiefs around the state of Alabama and even when I 00:37:45
was at the FBI Academy across the nation. 00:37:49
When I got hired 18 years ago and my my command staff got hired. 00:37:55
You had a pool that they were coming to you. 00:38:00
We were hiring new people out of college, out of the military. 00:38:03
That's changed now. A lot of the hirings are coming from other agencies. 00:38:05
As a society, I think it's for our younger officers. We're now a generation of safe spaces. 00:38:09
And and people that can't deal with stress. 00:38:15
And I don't know where to put it, but this job isn't a safe space. It's a lot of stress and a lot of people just don't want to do 00:38:17
it. So around the state of Alabama, across the country. 00:38:22
It used to be, hey, get people 21 years of age, they go to Academy, they come back. 00:38:26
Now you're looking for these 2829 year olds. That's done it at a little agency. Hey, come over here. You can make more money. The 00:38:30
benefits are better. 00:38:33
You can. You can fly a helicopter. You work in narcotics, you work at homicide. Stuff a little agencies don't have. 00:38:37
So that has shifted in the recruiting game. 00:38:42
As far as trying to get new people versus trying to steal from other agencies and like I said, the USA, that's what they're doing. 00:38:45
They're being very successful at it right now. 00:38:48
And I was telling Mr. Crowe earlier. 00:38:52
To. 00:38:56
You know, the court always say the answer is money. What's the question? 00:38:56
According to university is that they have over 100 plus applicants. 00:39:00
For these jobs. 00:39:06
Of experience candidates, not just applicants, experience candidate. 00:39:08
And they're. 00:39:12
They've changed the market dynamic to their credit. 00:39:14
I don't think we've had 100 applicants in a year. 00:39:17
Not good ones. 00:39:22
And certainly not experienced ones. 00:39:24
That. 00:39:27
That shows if you're willing to put the money, that you can increase your pool. 00:39:28
Of qualified at. Now that's one test sample, right? That's not. 00:39:35
You know, but that's one sample that we can look at, say. 00:39:39
That's a dynamic change that. 00:39:43
We have to look in the future and. 00:39:46
One of the things regardless of. 00:39:48
Well, one of the things coming out of this I hope that the. 00:39:52
Is it me, you and I talk, Mr. Busby, that maybe? 00:39:55
You as Chairman of Finance. 00:39:59
Miss Howard is chairman of Public Safety and Mr. Bell is. 00:40:00
Chairperson of Administrative committee. 00:40:05
If we could begin working together with our team members at the city and begin looking at. 00:40:08
Law enforcement and compensation for the future. 00:40:14
Because this, this, that's where we're going to have to lean into. 00:40:17
After we get through this, and not just a Band-Aid type of thing. 00:40:22
Today's a Band-Aid, make no mistake about it. 00:40:26
And. 00:40:30
Counselor to kind of answer yours. We you know we send recruiters to to schools about the latest recruiting all that kind of 00:40:30
stuff. I don't know a company that exists that's been successful because you're looking at you know all major cities are down 102 00:40:35
hundred cops we went to different programs because the new generation they don't like to talk in person they want to text so we 00:40:40
actually text the applicants. Yes we have went there we had one person that just applied that didn't want to talk to us on the 00:40:45
phone. 00:40:50
And he was too stressed out to talk to us on the phone. So we text him a little bit. We're like, hey dude, you're not for us. But 00:40:55
y'all would not believe some of the things, you know, we had one applicant passed everything else but said, hey, I'm so nervous I 00:41:00
got high this morning, smoked weed on the way to my polygraph. 00:41:05
Was. 00:41:10
But I mean that that's really what we're dealing with. I'm not making this stuff up, but I don't know if the comments are 00:41:13
successful about going out there. Our, our biggest thing is military and people, you know, coming out of criminal justice at all 00:41:18
the major universities and like so we have every major university in Alabama and Georgia. 00:41:23
In Tennessee as well. 00:41:29
Thank you, Chief. Again, we appreciate. 00:41:30
This ain't going away. 00:41:34
OK. 00:41:36
So the good news is. 00:41:36
Everybody at this table is committed to figuring out. 00:41:38
How does? 00:41:43
How do I won't even say solve? 00:41:44
Address it and get it partially solved. 00:41:46
Mostly soft. 00:41:49
So I wish. 00:41:50
Thanks for getting on the table today I. 00:41:52
I've begun going through some of the stuff. 00:41:55
That you've handed out. I'll probably talk with you or Lashonda about some of the additional. 00:41:58
And we will. 00:42:03
Look to have it back on the Finance Committee agenda. 00:42:05
Next week, and we will. 00:42:08
Hoped that by that time.