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Manteca may add one police officer, one firefighter

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POSTED June 14, 2014 1:41 a.m.

Manteca may expand its public safety force by one police officer and one firefighter during the fiscal year starting July 1.

The two positions are part of a $30.1 million budget proposal for 2014-15 that the City Council will discuss during a workshop planned for 8:30 a.m. on Monday at the Civic Center, 1001 W. Center St.

The budget also calls for an additional police dispatcher.

The firefighter position is part of a multi-year effort to transition the new Lathrop Road fire station by Del Webb at Woodbridge to the point it can have a three-man engine 24/7. Due to staffing shortages there are times when the city simply has two firefighters dispatched from the station using the rescue squad. The overwhelming number of calls in Manteca require medical aid.

The city is financially healthy enough to transition the cost of one firefighter and one police officer from the public safety endowment fund to the general fund.

The endowment fund — paid by developer fees — has been shrinking faster after the council tapped into it over a year ago to put together a three officer unit to combat gangs.

The new police officer position will be covered by the general fund while the firefighter’s cost will be picked up by the Public Safety Sales Tax Fund. Also, $60,000 will be added to firefighter overtime from the sales tax fund in a bid to help the Lathrop Road station go 24/7 with full three-man engine staffing.

The fund that consists of the half cent sales tax approved by Manteca voters is projected to have a $2.9 million reserve at the end of the month. The reserve is kept at that level to make sure all 15 police and 12 firefighter positions funded by the half cent sales tax can be covered if the economy goes into a tailspin or the state pulls financial shenanigans

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