Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Local News

May 14, 2012

Goshen police see an overtime bump with concerns at First Fridays

GOSHEN — The increased police presence at recent First Fridays appears to be making a difference, but also comes with a cost.

The amount of total manpower used by Goshen Police Department for First Fridays over the past four months has more than tripled from 32 hours to 104 hours compared to 2011.

As a result, the amount of overtime lodged by officers assigned to patrol First Fridays has risen after the department beefed up its role at the monthly festival following complaints about crowded conditions and trouble with some juveniles.

Goshen Police Department has traditionally provided two officers for the event.

However, the department used six officers in March and had 15 officers on hand for the April and May events.

The hike in manpower coincided in part with concerns about youth-related problems as city council wrangled over two ordinances supported by the mayor, police chief and organizers of First Friday, Downtown Goshen Inc.

City leaders had sought quick approval of ordinances establishing a limited curfew on the nights of First Fridays and one that would prohibit blocking sidewalks.

The curfew was unanimously rejected last month and the City Council chose to take a wait-and-see approach to the sidewalk ordinance after community organizers created an ambassador program in which volunteers greet festival-goers in the downtown business district and keep police aware of possible problems.

Add it up

Goshen Police paid out $153.75 in March for overtime costs associated with First Friday patrols. The total jumped to $678.57 for overtime pay expended in April.

For May’s event, the department estimated the cost was about $900, but part of that included additional patrols for the bike races.

Calculating the total impact on the department, though, isn’t as simple as asking how much in overtime costs the city is accumulating, according to police chief Wade Branson.

Patrolmen who receive overtime for their work are only part of the equation. Some of the duties have been assigned to administrators in the department who do not receive overtime pay.

And reserve officers, who are not paid, have also been working the festival.

Another factor that doesn’t show up on paper is the adjusting of other officer’s schedules to accommodate other shifts.

“In doing so, some officers are then unavailable during their regular schedule, which may cause more shuffling or overtime expense due to a need arising during their regularly scheduled times,” Branson said in a prepared statement addressing overtime expenses.

Traditionally, DGI helps pay the cost of two officers regularly scheduled to provide patrols. However, beginning in June, those two positions will be paid with overtime from the police department because the combined $3,500 provided by DGI and Goshen Downtown Economic Improvement has been exhausted, according to Branson.

Without shifting personnel to cover the event, in April, for example, the cost for that month would have been $2,048, Branson said.

Months ago when the ordinances were first debated, Branson warned that a continued increase in police presence would end up costing more in overtime.

“Though the budgetary concerns may be pressing on the minds of many,” Branson said in his prepared statement, “our officers will continue to work in the capacities for which they are needed.”

‘Less than perfect’

Goshen Mayor Allan Kauffman believes the lack of a curfew requires some officers to remain in the festival area after events end at 9 p.m. because young people continue to linger afterward. That, he said, is contributing to overtime costs.

Kauffman said he still supports both ordinances and would like to see council take action on the sidewalk proposal.

During a May 1 council meeting, Kauffman asked council members if there would be any support for a city-wide curfew. The question was met with a clear voice of opposition from several council members and the subject ended quickly.

Police did not issue any warnings during the May 4 First Fridays event. Part of the reason, Branson said, was because streets were closed off and people could legally use the streets for pedestrian traffic.

However, one 13-year-old was arrested following an assault of some kind that required the hospitalization of one youth. And two 12-year-old girls were arrested for public intoxication. Details of the fight were unavailable.

Kauffman described conditions at the most recent event as less than perfect.

He said he likes the idea from City Councilman Jeremy Stutsman to pass the ordinance and review it after a few months. The next City Council meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Tuesday at the police & courts building at the corner of Fifth and Jefferson streets.

“I think council needs to pass the ordinance,” Kauffman said, “to have something there for the (circumstances in which people) don’t want to listen.”

1
Text Only
Local News
  • GN140424 Emma1 Pioneer Drama Troupe to perform 'Emma' Emma has a gift for getting people together — or so she thinks. Pride and matchmaking gone awry are key to Jane Austen’s “Emma,” which will be brought to theatrical life this weekend by the Pioneer Drama Troupe.

    April 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • Michigan Prisoner Escape Michigan murderer arraigned in prison escape that led to manhunt in Elkhart, LaGrange counties

    IONIA, Mich. — A convicted murderer who broke out of a western Michigan prison in February has been arraigned on escape, carjacking and kidnapping charges.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • GN140423 Wakarusa Musical 3 'A Kid's Life' portrays sudden techno loss WAKARUSA — The young people of our present day society don’t remember ever having lived their lives without some element of electronic gadgetry becoming involved. For them, it would be difficult to fathom the possibility of a world “off the grid.” So the fourth- and fifth-grade students of Wakarusa Elementary School will offer a comedic and chaotic interpretation of such a dilemma with their upcoming musical “A Kid’s Life.”

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • GN140423 stress relief 03 Furry pals help GC students with dog days of finals GOSHEN - Goshen College students took a break from preparing for final exams to hangout with some four-legged friends Monday afternoon.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • GN140423 FF spring play_3547 Fairfield students to present Oscar Wilde classic BENTON — Fairfield’s musicals and plays have recently left their status as an extracurricular activity and come under the wing of the Performing Arts Department and under the direction of Andrew Muth.

    April 23, 2014 3 Photos

  • Sheriff Brad Rogers_0657 Sheriff travels to Nev. ranch in fed dispute Elkhart County Sheriff Brad Rogers has weighed in on a controversy surrounding a Nevada rancher, and visited the scene of the struggle.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • GN140209 snow storm 05 Elkhart, LaGrange counties denied FEMA aid GOSHEN — Elkhart and LaGrange counties were not among the 19 Indiana counties that had financial aid approved Tuesday by FEMA for a January winter storm.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Prep Roundup BASEBALL Falcons garner road win The Fairfield Falcons posted a 5-4 victory Tuesday evening at Rochester. Dustin Everage (three innings), Andrew Bobeck (three) and Austin Christner (one) pitched for the winners. Everage struck out three to earn the

    April 23, 2014

  • Akela.jpg SLIDESHOW: Pets of the Week Available cats and dogs at the Humane Society of Elkhart County. These loving animals are looking for permanent homes.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • GN0423 BC IN Common Core Indiana panel approves new school standards

    A panel of Indiana business and education leaders were met with boos and jeers from attendees after they voted overwhelmingly Monday to support new math and English standards set to replace the Common Core in classrooms this fall.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Poll

There has been discussion at West Goshen Elementary School to require mandatory student uniforms in the future. How do you feel about the prospect of mandatory student uniforms in a public school environment?

I think it’s an excellent idea that is way overdue
I think it’s a bad idea and would be restrictive for students and parents.
     View Results
AP Video
SKorea Ferry Toll Hits 156, Search Gets Tougher Video Shows Possible Syrian Gas Attack Cubs Superfans Celebrate Wrigley's 100th Raw: Cattle Truck Overturns in Texas Admirers Flock to Dole During Kansas Homecoming Raw: Erupting Volcanoes in Guatemala and Peru Alibaba IPO Could Be Largest Ever for Tech Firm FBI Joining Probe of Suburban NY 'Swatting' Call U.S. Paratroopers in Poland, Amid Ukraine Crisis US Reviews Clemency for Certain Inmates Raw: Violence Erupts in Rio Near Olympic Venue Raw: Deadly Bombing in Egypt Raw: What's Inside a Commercial Jet Wheel Well Raw: Obama Arrives in Japan for State Visit Raw: Anti-Obama Activists Fight Manila Police Motels Near Disney Fighting Homeless Problem Michigan Man Sees Thanks to 'bionic Eye' S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers