The Budget Committee of the Board of Estimate and Taxation will review its decision to cut 10 positions from the Greenwich Police Department and vote on whether to spend $1.4 million in security upgrades at Greenwich Public Schools, at its meeting Tuesday night.
The 6:30 p.m. meeting will be held in the Cone Room of Town Hall.
Budget Committee Chair Joseph Pellegrino said Monday the committee "needs to clarify" its vote to cut the 10 positions from the department's 154-member table of organization and transfer $600,000 from a salary account to a fixed charges account.
At its Feb. 28 budget vote recommendation vote, the four-member committee decided to make the reductions because the department historically has been unable to fill vacancies. The committee, instead voted to require the police chief to make funding requests when candidates are ready to hired. "The money is there," Pellegrino said. "The fundamental question is the positions have been vacant."
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Budget committee member Bill Finger also said Monday, "The chief needs to come to the budget committee and say 'we want to hire' and discuss with us how he will spend the money. How is he going to fill the positions, with new recruits or with lateral transfers from another department with an officer who doesn't need the training."
Both men made their comments as they waited at police headquarters to meet with Police Chief James Heavey Monday morning. Heavey would not comment on the meeting.
The funding decision prompted a a firestorm of reaction from First Selectman Peter Tesei, Heavey and Lt. James Bonney, the .
At the March 7 selectmen's meeting, Tesei said, "Once you determine that level of funding during the course of a very micro budget process, I do not believe there should be micromanagement of operations. We appoint people to manage. This is an action about control and I think the control issue disturbs me on accountability. The BET is not accountable to the taxpayer as the Board of Selectmen is."
Heavey sent a letter March 1 to residents explaining the impact of the cuts and his fear that the positions will never be returned to the department.
Heavey, who would not comment on the budget vote Monday, said he will attend tonight's committee to address questions regarding the Board of Education's request for $1.4 million in security upgrades at the district's 15 school buildings and headquarters.
The upgrades include new locks, entry monitoring systems including closed circuit television camera and recording systems, window shades, protective glass film and an electronic emergency information guide for school and emergency officials with detailed floor plans, maps, evacuation routes, re-unification plans.