Naperville’s 2020 budget proposal ($491.7 million) will be about 9% higher than the 2019 budget ($451.4 million). With a $40 million increase in spending, city staff projects the property tax rate will be flat keeping the city property tax bills about the same as this year.
Among a number of planned improvements and services for residents, the Naperville Fire Department requested about $3.5 million for an ambulance, three new vehicles, a pumper truck, and self-contained breathing apparatus equipment.
The Naperville Police Department has two wish items on the 2020 budget; 1) the addition of four new police officers, and 2) a $315,000 armored vehicle (Bearcat) used in SWAT events. Watchdog has long advocated for the NPD to have a Bearcat.
While it’s nice to have an expanded leaf collection program and more salt for winter, and it’s fun to have automated meter reading, and it’s really cool to have three new IT people running around the Municipal Center, the safety and security of our city is paramount, and this happens when our police and fire departments have the equipment they need to get the job done.
OK, the Washington Street bridge replacement project is important, but if I had to, I could find another route from my home to the Dairy Queen. However if one night my chimney looks like a Bunsen burner and I need the NFD pronto, or my house is surrounded by spooky looking people, I’m not calling Ghost Busters, I am calling 911 for ‘Naperville’s finest’ to arrive in a Bearcat.
A ‘tip of the cap’ to council members John Krummen, Pat Kelly, Patty Gustin, Paul Hinterlong, and mayor Steve Chirico for giving a big ‘thank you’ to the Naperville Fire Department during the last city council meeting:
I too participated in a Naperville Citizen Fire Academy this last summer, and it was no ‘day at the beach’; what they do is not hard work, it’s very hard work. It took me 15 minutes just to put on the protective gear. Putting the boots on turned into a wrestling match.
My wife and I also participated in Naperville’s Citizen Police Academy. We had a deep appreciation and gratefulness for what police officers do before we began the course, and an even greater appreciation and gratefulness by the end of the course.
The Naperville city council has the opportunity to show support for the police and fire departments by approving their requests. If there ever was a reason for a unanimous 9 to 0 vote, supporting the NPD and NFD is it.
When is enough, enough?
I along with Bob support both the police and firemen but…………
Do we really need this stuff? Questions- Do fire engines accompany city paramedics(ambulances) on heart attack calls? Do fire engines always respond to car accidents? Do police always accompany fire engines on fire calls?
There are things nice to have and things necessary. Car tax payers survive these every increasing burdens on their income, earnings and existence?
BTW what these towns need to do is pool their resouces instead of creating unneeded duplicities which are bankrupting their citizens! Get the meat ax out before the last guy turns out the lights.
I can support he Bearcat. The NPD already has several HumVees an other military equipment for its special police units. I can accept the need for these type of police units, but as some point you have to say enough and for me the Bearcat is that point.
I thought this had to be sarcasm when I read it but it appears that the author is actually serious!
I have the utmost respect for firefighters. However, in Naperville we have far too many firehouses. The occupants have so little to do, they are sent out on Ambulance calls to prevent their equipment seizing up from lack of use.
As for Naperville police I believe their numbers could easily be cut by 50%. It’s one of the few jobs left in the US where someone with minimal intelligence can earn a six figure salary and retire in their forties.
No wonder the property tax is so high.
One of the reasons Naperville is rated such a safe city to live in is because of the police and fire response times. If you cut the staff in either of these services you will increase response time.
In fact back when the economy crashed in 2007 Naperville was one of the few communities that did not respond by cutting police and fire manpower. As a result we were one of the few communities that did not suddenly start receiving mountains of complains from residents about how long it was taking police and fire to respond to calls, as well as solve crimes.
I believe that in the last 10 years there have been less then a dozen new police or fire department positions created and filled.
These services are very well managed.