At their Oct. 27 meeting, the Bloomington Council voted 9-0 to approve the nearly $107 million city budget for 2022.
Two weeks ago, the council had delayed action on the budget, citing the need to further negotiate with Mayor John Hamilton. Some councilmembers want to add a full-time climate action director who would oversee implementation of the city's climate action plan. Other councilmembers are concerned about the city's ability to recruit and retain Bloomington Police Department sworn officers, and want to increase officers' base pay.
However, the budget adopted on Oct. 27 was unchanged from the previous proposal. Rather, councilmembers approved the budget based on the expectations laid out in a press release from the administration. In it, the mayor proposed a quarterly retention bonus for BPD officers and further investment in staff to implement the climate action plan. None of those changes affected the 2022 budget. More information about the city's budget is available here.
At their Oct. 13 meeting, the Bloomington Council expressed frustration with the city's budget process and voted to recess their meeting until Oct. 27, in order to further negotiate with Bloomington Mayor John Hamilton.
Some councilmembers want to add a full-time climate action director who would oversee implementation of the city's climate action plan. Other councilmembers are concerned about the city's ability to recruit and retain Bloomington Police Department sworn officers, and want to increase officers' base pay.
The deadline to act on the budget is Nov. 2. After that, the 2021 tax levy is carried over automatically and the city would lose about $1.2 million in general fund revenues.
Watch the council's Oct. 13 meeting on CATS here.
Updates on police, fire and initiatives of the Community and Family Resources Department (CFRD) were part of Bloomington's 5th annual State of Public Safety report, featured in a Feb. 9 presentation.
In addition to Mayor John Hamilton, presenters included Police Chief Mike Diekhoff, Fire Chief Jason Moore, and CFRD Director Beverly Caldener-Anderson.
View the 90-minute presentation here. Slides from the report are here.
The Bloomington Police Department is planning to open a crisis diversion center as a way to decrease crime in the city, according to police chief Mike Diekhoff.
Diekhoff described the effort during an Aug. 20 budget hearing before Bloomington City Council.
In his presentation, Diekhoff indicated that one of BPD's goals is to establish an "evidence-based, police-led diversion program to assist in rehabilitation or services as a preference over incarceration for non-violent offenders."
Diekhoff said discussions in the past several months have focused on where to house such a program. He estimated the center would cost about $700,000 to operate annually. He said the city has held discussions with Monroe County and private businesses on this project, and has applied for grants to help support it financially. After a location is established, he said, "then we can move forward with actually doing pre-arrest diversion work."
Councilmember Isabel Piedmont-Smith (District 5) expressed support for the center. "I think this is a very smart innovation that has worked well in other communities to keep people whose issues are really not with the law but with mental health, with addictions – to keep those out of our jail and to get them the help they need."
Click here to view their discussion on CATS. Click here to view slides from the chief's presentation.
Monroe County government is currently undertaking a study of its criminal justice system. A diversion center is being considered for that effort.
Learn about the operations of the Bloomington Police Department and our community's criminal justice system by participating in the Bloomington Citizens Police Academy.
Sessions will be held on Tuesday evenings from 6-8:30 p.m. starting on Sept. 10 through Nov. 19. Topics include patrol techniques, domestic violence, driving while intoxicated, criminal investigations, drug enforcement, firearms training and more. The academy also includes the opportunity to do a ride-along with a patrol officer.
You must be at least 18 years old to participate, and background checks will be conducted on all applicants.
Applications are due by Friday, Aug. 30. Click here to apply.