The Department of Public Safety reports that its overtime expenditures has gone down significantly compared to the previous fiscal year budget request.
At the budget hearing on Friday, DPS officials told the House Ways and Means Committee chaired by Rep. Angel A. Demapan (R-Saipan) that their overtime cost this year is just a little over $400,000 compared to fiscal year 2017’s $2.2 million.
According to DPS Commissioner Robert Guerrero, the massive decrease in overtime costs is because they had more officers to rotate the shift times. He added that the academy is also expected to graduate another cycle this July, resulting in an additional 30 officers. Because of that, DPS is asking for additional funding for fuel.
“[DPS] has agreed that the governor’s proposal was something that they can work with. We may just have to do some adjustments to increase the fuel allocations because we expect to see more patrol vehicles on the streets,” said Demapan in an interview.
According to DPS administration director Kay Inos, DPS is requesting a budget of over $10.6 million while the governor’s budget proposal for the department is over $7.8 million.
Despite the larger fuel consumption, Demapan said the decrease in overtime expense is a “major accomplishment.”
“Last year, at this point [of budget discussions], we were talking about…over $2 million in overtime costs. Today, we are only looking at about $400,000 in the fiscal year so far,” he said.
For fiscal year 2018, DPS is proposed a budget of $6.6 million, while the budget proposal for fiscal year 2019 is currently at $7.8 million.
Demapan said DPS was one of the government agencies fortunate to receive $1 million in additional funding. Gov. Ralph DLG Torres had proposed a budget of $258.1 million for DPS in fiscal year 2019, an increase of $21.4 million compared to fiscal year 2018.
“As we see more funding resources become available, there is more of a concerted effort to spread that increase in revenues across the board,” said Demapan, adding that DPS has had an increased budget proposal of 22 percent compared to fiscal year 2018.