Modesto hoping for $100K for police OT costs

Modesto City Council members decided Tuesday that $100,000 in state law enforcement funding will help pay for police overtime costs.

The city expects to get at least $100,000 in supplemental law enforcement funding this year. The state gives the money to local agencies to pay for front-line police work.

The funding is sorely needed after the Police Department bore the brunt of personnel cuts this year to fix a general fund deficit. The department reduced its overtime budget by $1 million.

George Sharp of the Disability Resource Agency for Independent Living suggested that part of the money be used to train officers to interact with people with disabilities.

Police Chief Mike Harden said officers recently were trained in dealing with the hearing impaired. The department's training budget could cover additional sensitivity training, he said.

A deaf man sued the city in 2007 claiming that police officers used excessive force to subdue him when he could not hear their commands during a traffic stop in March 2006. The city paid $40,000 to settle the lawsuit early last year.

Councilman Garrad Marsh said more training should focus on relations with people who have other disabilities. But the council committed the supplemental funding to the overtime budget.

The council also approved a strategic plan for guiding the city in the next four years. The city will strive to:

• Build partnerships to improve neighborhoods and create a sense of community

• Provide a safe and inviting community in which to live and work

• Provide an innovative and accountable city government

• Foster a competitive and diverse economic climate for business

• Forge partnerships with education and promote Modesto

Bee staff writer Ken Carlson can be reached at or 578-2321.

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