Fairfax City Police Chief Carl Pardiny.
Photo by Bonnie Hobbs.
Everyone wants a piece of the City of Fairfax budget pie, including the Police Department. Below are some of the items its leader requested during a Dec. 2 joint work session of the City Council and Planning Commission.
The first thing on Police Chief Carl Pardiny’s FY 2016 CIP list was money for information technology. “We’re replacing the department’s 22 servers and office computers, plus the mobile laptops used by the officers in their cruisers,” he said.
Next came a funding request to upgrade the records-management system the Police Department got in 2006. “It’s the backbone of our computerized, data-collection system,” said Pardiny. “We need more modern, upgraded software, which will integrate the mapping of calls for service and allow officers to research the whole system from their mobile computers. And it’ll be more efficient for the officers.”
He said the police radios need an upgrade that will cost $991,000 total over the next five years; for FY ’16, the price tag is $198,200. It’ll cover 80 portable radios and 61 radios mounted in the vehicles. “Our radios must be compatible with the new radio system in other jurisdictions,” explained Pardiny. “We’d do it in phases.”
He also hopes to replace certain police vehicles over the next several years and is asking for $122,500 for FY ’16. The cost is based on the vehicles’ wear and tear and mileage, plus the accessories needed, such as gun racks, lights and sirens.
One vehicle needing replacement is a 12-year-old Ford Crown Victoria with 106,500 miles. Another is the 1997 speed-watch trailer that’s now 18 years old. “It’s almost an antique now, and we have lots of neighborhood requests for it,” said Pardiny. “A new one would cost $15,000 and will allow timely, wireless downloading of its data.”
Renovation of the Firearms Training Center is also on the list. The Police Department already received a grant for the work, but debt service must be paid for several years. “Our partner, Falls Church City, will also pay for this,” said Pardiny. “But GMU had to back out of the agreement.”
He also noted that the renovation price came in $1 million over budget, so the building’s had to be scaled back; there will be no second floor and less firing lanes.
Following the presentation, Councilwoman Nancy Loftus asked if the City could “piggyback on [Fairfax] County’s [police] radio price.” But Pardiny said the City wasn’t included in the county’s purchase. She then asked if the City could partner with another jurisdiction when buying them but, said Pardiny, “It would require a huge quantity of radios to get the discount.”