Law Board members wrapped up budget talks Monday by officially approving an $18.07 million budget for 2014 that will give full-time employees of the Riley County Police Department a 1.5 percent cost of living adjustment.
The final budget also makes room for a new custodial position.
There was no public comment. The board voted unanimously to approve the published budget.
During Monday’s monthly meeting, the department also released first quarter crime statistics, which indicate a 13.3 -percent decrease in crime from the first quarter of 2012. According to reports, there was a 7.3-percent decrease in person crimes, which include murder, rape, robbery and aggravated assault, and a 14 percent decrease in non-person crimes, including burglary, larceny and automobile thefts.
In Manhattan alone, there was a 15.3-percent decrease in overall crime as compared to the first quarter of 2012. There was also a decrease in the number of accidents, with 326 reported in 2013, compared to 426 reported in 2012. Of the 326, 221 occurred on public roads and were not related to adverse situations such as bad weather or animals in the road.
Patrol Capt. Kurt Moldrup said officers issued 803 citations in the first quarter of 2013, compared to 1,504 in 2012. The most common of those were for speeding, seat-belt and cellphone violations, inattentive driving, failure to yield and following too closely.
Moldrup said this quarter marks the second that the Laser Point Initiative has been in effect, and he added that the initiative is having an impact on the reduction of accidents. The initiative increases police patrolling in areas where crimes occur during certain times of the day and days of the week.
He also cited the high number of tickets issued in 2012 as having an impact on accident reduction.
Moldrup said there will be a renewed emphasis on traffic enforcement because there is concern that the dramatic reduction in citations this quarter will adversely affect the accident rate in coming quarters.