The Dunwoody City Council spent a full day at a Perimeter area hotel for its annual retreat to discuss priorities for the coming year.
Police Chief Billy Grogan presented a five-year staffing plan to the council at the Jan. 20 meeting. He believes more officers will be necessary in the near future.
“When you look at the workload of our officers it’s pretty high,” Grogan said. “My experience is you can do those kinds of things in the short term. But if you continue to operate at that rate in the long term, you’ll get burnout and morale can drop.”
He recommended hiring three officers and one sergeant in 2013 to form a special data-driven crime reduction unit.
He would like for the department to do modest hiring through 2017, taking the police department’s overall percentage of the city’s budget from 27.6 percent to 34.9 percent.
“The goal is for us to be able to reduce our Part 1 crime, reduce some of the traffic issues we have on our roads and provide services that the community would want, educational classes that we just don’t have the staff to do,” Grogan said.
Finance Director Chris Pike told the council members that approximately 60 percent of the city’s budget is on the chopping block this year in the state Legislature.
The Legislature is considering bills that would eliminate or reduce revenue sources like franchise fees and insurance premiums taxes for municipalities like Dunwoody.
He said it’s important that the city maintain diverse revenue sources.
“It’s important to make sure we don’t get too reliant on any one particular line item,” Pike said. “Survival of the fittest isn’t about being the biggest or the strongest. It’s about our ability to change when the environment changes.”