Home » Government » Police Department report and City financial audit top agenda at October 25 Council meeting

Police Department report and City financial audit top agenda at October 25 Council meeting

Overlooking Globe. Photo by LCGross

Members of the Globe City Council: Mayor Al Gameros, Vice Mayor Mike Stapleton (District 4), and Council members Freddy Rios (District 1), Mike Pastor (District 2), Jesse Leetham (District 3), Mariano Gonzalez (District 5), and Fernando Shipley (District 6). All members were in attendance except Vice Mayor Stapleton.

Chief Walters presents report on PD 2021/2022 activities

Chief Dale Walters presented a report on the Police Department’s operations in 2021 and 2022. Chief Walters explained that a review is normally done every year, but it didn’t happen last year because of Covid, thus he is covering two years tonight.

Personnel

The department lost five sworn officers during 2021 and 2022, but two of those returned. During the same period, the department hired nine people. The department currently stands at 28 sworn officers, and the goal is between 32 and 34. The number had been 19 when Chief Walters started as chief four years ago.

Criminal investigations went from one detective to five. The PD lost one civilian employee, but this person was replaced. The PD also hired a director for the advocacy center.

Chief Walters said turnover had been 200% before he arrived, but that has been reduced to just four people, thanks in part to hiring officers who live in the area.

Facilities, equipment and fleet

Council recently authorized the purchase of a property room. The PD had moved into that building three years ago and now will own it permanently.

The main station building has been remodeled and is about 98% complete, and the property and evidence building has also been remodeled. The Copper Hills Family Advocacy Center opened in 2020, being the first brick-and-mortar facility of its kind in the county.

Equipment has been purchased, including vehicles and electronic equipment for the vehicles, less lethal weapons, bolo wraps, and taser systems. License plate readers are on order, and the department plans to purchase additional radios and computers in the coming year.

Walters said the PD has been taking an aggressive stance against drug crimes, and that’s why people are seeing armored personnel carries deploying for search warrants.

The PD is also giving a lot of attention to traffic issues. The combination of high speeds, limited visibility, and inattention has led to some horrific accidents, Walters said. The PD is seeking grant money for more speed signs.

Staffing

Chief Walters said the increase in staffing has made a tremendous impact. Training mechanisms, training, and support have all improved, with resulting reductions in crime. Burglaries, fraud, public intoxication, shots fired, and domestic disturbances have all decreased significantly in the past several years.

Departmental audits and case management

An audit of property and evidence was completed, which Chief Walters praised as a huge accomplishment.

Community engagement and community policing

Community engagement has been one of the PD’s biggest and most positive areas of activity, Walters said, including officers showing up in force for special events such as First Fridays. And department employees have taken it upon themselves to raise funds for at-risk families for the holidays.

Internal and external partnerships

The PD has created a cooperative IGA with San Carlos, as well as partnerships with DPS and with the County on a number of topics.

Walter emphasized the department’s partnership with the Gila County Sheriff’s Department posse. The PD relies heavily on the posse to help staff events on an ongoing basis. Walter presented a $5,000 donation from the City to the posse, which is a nonprofit organization.

The continuation of partnerships is one of Chief Walters’ priorities going forward.

Grants

Over the last two years, the PD has been working toward grants and has received a total of just over $500,000. This includes a grant for an 800 MHz radio system. All first responders in the area will have 800 MHz systems by this time next year, Walters said.

Departmental morale

Chief Walters said morale had been a serious issue and a concern for Council when he started as chief four years ago, but he feels a lot of those problems have been resolved.

Wrapping up, Chief Walters recommended that Council and the city manager create funding to support having Public Safety Strategies Group return to assess the PD’s progress, to validate its accomplishments.

“It’s a fundamental responsibility of a mayor and council to make sure that tax-paying citizens and those people that come through town to visit have the best law enforcement, fire department, public works. It’s a fundamental responsibility to provide quality of life at its finest.” Councilman Freddy Rios

Clean audit of City’s finances shows a few glitches, wins praise for preparation

Scott Graff of Colby & Powell PLC presented the results of his audit of the City’s FY2021-2022 finances. Graff explained that the audit involves looking at the City’s policies and procedures as well as its financial statements to determine the risk that there are any material misstatements within the statements, which could be caused by either error or fraud. 

The audit report includes four parts: the report itself, a discussion and analysis, the financial statements themselves, and an auditor’s report on internal control over financial reporting and on compliance.

The conclusion of the audit was that the City’s financial statements “do present fairly in all material respects.”

The audit also looks for any weaknesses in internal controls, including policies and procedures. The audit did note a few issues, including timeliness. The audit was supposed to have been completed within nine months of the end of the financial period, and it was not. However, Graff said he’s never seen the state penalize municipalities in any way for being late. City Manager Paul Jepson noted that the City did notify the state Auditor General that the audit would be late, and the lateness had resulted from lack of Finance department staffing at the City.

Also, Graff said, state statutes require that cities not go over budget at the department level, but in five departments, actual expenditures exceeded departmental budgets. The City as a whole stayed under its budget, but these five departments did exceed their department budgets. Jepson pointed out that some of the overages resulted from timing issues because of expenses that had been budgeted for one period actually being paid out in a different period.

Graff noted that the “net position” number gives an overall idea of the City’s financial position. It’s calculated as total assets minus total liabilities. Globe had a very healthy net position in 2020, with an increase of over $4.7 million – this was due mainly to Covid-related Cares Act funds. The City’s net position increased in 2021 by $345,788.

Mayor Gameros pointed out that Globe has a budget with a lot of moving parts, and Graff agreed that it is a complex situation for a city of Globe’s size. He also said he’s been working with Globe for several years and this is the most prepared that he has ever seen the City’s finances.

Council recognizes employee anniversaries

Council recognized the following employees for ten years of service:

Anthony Martinez, Evidence Manager. Anthony has served in multiple roles at the Police Department, starting in dispatch. He has also served as Chief Walters’ personal assistant on three occasions and has helped on crime scenes.

Uriel Perez, Assistant Streets Facilities Supervisor. Uriel is one of the main employees people will see out on the streets working on cleanup after storms.

Ed Johnston, Public Works Lead Maintenance. Ed displays a high level of dedication, especially given that he lives in Superior and has had to deal with highway closures due to the fires and bridge projects. 

Council also recognized the following employees for five years of service:

Chris Mills, Engineer/Medic. Engineers act as driver/operators, with responsibility to make sure equipment is functional and ready to go. Chris brought extensive experience to the department, including as a flight paramedic.

Vincent Mariscal, Water/Wastewater Facilities Supervisor. Vince has held multiple positions in Public Works and has recently completed management training and wastewater treatment training.

Motions approved

Council also approved motions for the following:

  • Accounts payable in the amount of $255,048.83
  • A request to install new signage for “Monte Dei” offices to be located at 286 N. Broad Street.
  • The Downtown Globe Seek-and-Find Gila Monster Project, an art program initiated by the I Art Globe organization, to be located on the exterior walls of participating downtown building owners. Councilman Rios passed on a comment from a constituent who noted some “friction” in the Historical Preservation Advisory Commission and that proper processes might not have been followed with respect to the Monte Dei logo and the I Art Globe project. Jepson confirmed that the logo for the Monte Dei offices did go through HPAC and will appear in its minutes. Jepson said he and Councilman Rios will work together to address the constituent’s concerns. Mayor Gameros explained that the Gila Monster project is a marketing program where Gila monsters will be painted on the sides of buildings to give visitors a fun way to interact with downtown, much like the cats in Miami.
  • A resolution to abandon approximately 3,620 square feet of the South Hill Street right-of-way, deeded to the abutting property owner. Planning and Zoning Administrator Dana Burkhardt explained that the need for the abandonment became evident in the course of the Hill Street School redevelopment project. The Hill Street School property line on Hill Street, as shown in County assessor records, actually sits nine feet into the property and passes through the building. The property line needs to be adjusted to run along the north edge of the sidewalk. This creates a new parcel of land which the property owner will marry with the existing parcel the school sits on. Similar issues exist on the south side of Hill Street and will be cleaned up later, Burkhardt said.
  • The purchase of two refurbished Lifepack 15 Heart Monitors from Coast Medical Equipment for the amount of $33,266.96. Chief Gary Robinson explained that the FD requested funds to purchase the heart monitor in the 2022-23 budget process and received funds through CIP. Chief Robinson said EMT work accounts for about 80% to 85% of what the FD deals with, and these units are used on a daily basis. The Lifepack 15 units have proved exceptionally reliable and the manufacturer has provided excellent service. Chief Robinson said with this purchase the FD will be able to outfit all frontline apparatus and will have an additional unit that could provide an immediately available backup or could go out with a wildland team. These machines are capable of sending data directly to the hospital and to patients’ care records, allowing EMTs to work more seamlessly with CVRMC. Brand-new units cost between $45,000 and $50,000 apiece, Robinson said.
  • The FY2023 Governor’s Office of Highway Safety STEP Enforcement Overtime Grant in the amount of $6,091 and the DUI Enforcement Overtime Grant in the amount of $12,122. Commander Charles Haines said the OHS grant is a speed enforcement grant that will be used in connection with special events. The DUI enforcement grant would also be used for holidays and special events, and it provides funds for some equipment as well.
  • The purchase of the property located at 1300 N. Broad Street, owned by Jesse and Kathy Bolinger, for the purchase price of $180,000. Jepson explained that the City has already been leasing this building, at a cost of around $21,000 per year. The parcel includes what used to be Mel’s Auto and Bob’s Tires.
  • A contract with Apache Underground for the Globe Community Center Sewer Line Replacement Project, in an amount not to exceed $1,147,853.80 plus an owner’s contingency of $114,785.38, for a total of $1,262,639.18. City Engineer Jerry Barnes explained that this was the first WIFA project that City received a loan grant for in 2021. A $2 million loan grant is available, which is being used for multiple projects. The selected bid for this project came in about 40% higher than the engineer’s estimate, done in 2020, but given price increases over the past two years, Barnes said staff feel it’s reasonable. The project will be about 3,000 feet long and will extend from Tri-City Fire down Jess Hayes and will tie in Besh, the Community Center and the pool, then will continue down Ice House Canyon Creek to the Boys and Girls Club. It will allow the City to get these properties off septic and holding tanks and put them on the sewer system. Property owners will also be able to tie into it. The project will probably get under way in February, Barnes said.
  • Two change orders to a contract with Superior Tank Solutions for the Hagen Tanks Exterior Coating project, one in the amount of $7,500 and the other in the negative amount of ($29,500). Barnes explained that these tanks had some leakage and the City contracted with Superior Tank to clean and coat them and repair any leaks. When Tank 2 was opened and looked at, it was found that there were loose bolts inside and places that need to be blasted. The first change order is to clean up the loose bolts, replace missing ones and recoat the areas. The second change order came about because the City had planned to blast the interior paint off both tanks and have them recoated. But it was discovered that Tank 3 had been powder coated, which is a more durable coating than what had been planned to replace it with. So the contractor will only spot blast Tank 3, which translated into a cost reduction of $29,500. Once the work is complete, Tank 2 and Tank 3 will each be able to hold 1.5 million gallons of water.

View this meeting online.

View documents related to this meeting.

Full minutes can be found by going to the City Hall website at https://www.globeaz.gov/government .

The Globe City Council meets every second and fourth Tuesday of the month at 6:00 p.m. at City Hall. The meetings are currently open to the public at 50% capacity. Members of the public are requested to wear a mask except when seated. Seating is limited to allow for social distancing.

Members of the public can also participate in City of Globe public meetings by viewing the meeting live on YouTube. To view the Council meeting live stream, go to the City of Globe’s YouTube channel (search for City of Globe Arizona). Or click on the “Live Stream on YouTube” link at the top of www.globeaz.gov.

To speak to agenda items before or during the meeting, you can call or text (928) 200-0154 or send an email to council@globeaz.gov. If you desire to speak to the Council during an agenda item.

 

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