Shared Cost: City of Savannah vs. Chatham County

CHATHAM CO., GA (WTOC) - The police department merger between the city and the county comes with shared costs, and that's what all three departments talked about on Wednesday, including who has to pay the overtime bill for the officers who worked extra hours during Hurricane Matthew.

The decision on who is going to pay the cost has not been made yet, but they did all agree on having another meeting to discuss it. In that meeting, they can figure out the cost and who pays for what percentage.

One of the issues comes in with the city having to approve a budget on Thursday for the next fiscal year, and the county doesn't have to have their budget approved until the next year. In the future, they want to move to a two-year budget.

Another issue is that officers have been paid overtime for working long hours during Hurricane Matthew. FEMA will reimburse 75 percent of the cost, but now the county and city have to figure who is going to pay the remaining balance.

"It's not that you have to come out of your pocket today with the money. We just need an understanding that going forward, this is the time frame and this is what we can expect so it will mesh together, and the two-year plan on the budget would take a lot of pressure off of everybody whenever you start developing this full force with the number of people we need," said Mayor Eddie DeLoach, Savannah.

They also talked about DNA lab upgrades that could mean held back-court cases, as well as body cameras.

They plan on meeting as early as next week to iron out the details.

Below is a list of things the police chief is asking for:

  1. Body Cameras
  2. COPS Grant
  3. HEAT Grant
  4. DNA Lab Testing
  5. Take-Home Vehicle Program
  6. Disaster recovery grant matching funds – FEMA will only reimburse 75 percent of these costs and the rest needs to be allocated between the county and city.
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