Knoxville's top cop explains need for more cash

By: Mario Boone Email
By: Mario Boone Email

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Knoxville is doing better than most local and state governments. No layoffs are planned and there will be no tax increases. But the city isn't immune to the skyrocketing cost of doing business. The price of "products and supplies that we need to do our job," is increasing, tightening KPD's budget.

"We have a lot of different databases that we operate under and we have to pay a fee for those," said Rausch.

The mayor proposes boosting the police budget by almost $2-million dollars. That would give KPD $47.9-million to operate next fiscal year. So, where will the bulk of the money go?

"The cost for personnel goes up based on variables." Variables like health care costs and plans to put 30 new cops on the streets. "That will put us at our strength which is 416 officers."

But one of the biggest expenses is rising gas prices. Right now the city has a contract for gas at a flat rate. But Rausch expects that will change. "That contract will have to be increased based on what's happening with fuel prices."

Meanwhile the chief is using innovative ways to save fuel. "Increasing some of the walking patrols. Getting out of your car and going into areas where walking patrols are effective," he said.

So far the City Council has given tentative approval to the mayor's budget proposal, but a final vote is still needed. Stay with Volunteer TV News for developments in the budget debate.

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