Monday, December 13, 2010
Police presence at Louisiana Boardwalk
Councilman Don Williams talked to the Finance Director and to the Police Chief in an attempt to put this in perspective.
He found that there are seven officers assigned to the Boardwalk. Friday and Saturday nights see six officers per night while there are three to five working on weeknights. At times reserve officers are also used, as well as private security officers paid for by the Boardwalk and/or the businesses. The private officers, however, have no real authority and have to call on the police for assistance in some cases.
From January through the end of November of this year the city has collected $2,752,522 from the Boardwalk. That is just the city's 2.5%.
Although the Boardwalk wasn't fully leased out during the first couple of years of its existence, to date, through the end of November, the city has collected $16,839,822 in sales taxes.
I don't know what it costs to provide seven police officers for a year, but I think that considering insurance and retirement contributions, the figure would be less than $500,000 per year. That's just my guess, you can make your own guess.
I do believe the key question to ask is whether the Boardwalk would be as attractive as it is to families without the police presence.
Do you think that this is a legitimate expenditure for the city to make? Do you think the city should pull these officers and leave the Boardwalk to its own devices?