Cambridge Police pursues COPS grant

By Rachel Kytonen

The Cambridge Police Department hasn’t added any new positions since 2007, while since that time, calls have increased 25 percent.

During the Cambridge City Council meeting Monday, May 2, Cambridge Police Chief Dave Pajnic said from 2007 to 2009 Part I crimes (the most serious offenses) have increased 10 percent. Part II crimes have increased by 27 percent.

Cambridge Director of Finance Caroline Moe presents Cambridge Mayor Marlys Palmer (far right) with the city’s eighth consecutive Government Finance Officer’s Association Certificate for Achievement in Financial Reporting for the 2009 audit. Pictured with them is David Mol, from HLB Tautges Redpath, LTD., the city’s auditing firm. The city also received a clean audit for 2010. Photo by Rachel Kytonen

Pajnic said official 2010 figures are not yet available from the state, however calls increased by 374 from 2009 to 2010.

As a result, Pajnic requested permission to apply for a COPS grant, through the U.S. Department of Justice – Office of Community Oriented Policing Services. He said if the city would receive the grant, a new full-time officer would be hired at entry level and their salary and benefits would be paid at 100 percent for three years.

Following discussion, the Council authorized Pajnic to apply for the COPS grant. Council Member Chris Caulk abstained from the vote.

Pajnic explained at the end of the three year grant program, the city would have to retain the hired officer for one year.

“Hopefully within four years the economic climate would have improved to the point that the officer could remain permanently,” Pajnic noted.

Pajnic explained the offer hired under the COPS grant would be assigned to road patrol to replace the position of an officer being assigned as the second detective.

Pajnic said the city would probably be notified around late September if it is awarded the COPS grant.

In other action, the Council authorized a resolution providing for the sale of three bonds totalling $4,065,000 for refinancing to take advantage of lower interest rates. In addition, the city expects to issue $610,000 to finance the COPAR street improvements previously approved by the council.

Director of Finance Caroline Moe said with the refinancing, the city expects a net savings of approximately $300,000 to the city of Cambridge.