Manteca had 73 police officers and 30 support personnel serving a population of 65,076 residents in 2007.
Ten years later in 2016 Manteca had 65 police officers and 29 support personnel serving 73,841 residents.
Police handled 38,753 calls in 2007 compared to 42,717 in 2016.
That data is gleaned from the Comprehensive Annual Report for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2016 that was issued last month by Manteca’s Finance Department.
It provides a snapshot of where Manteca has come from and where it is headed. While the overall report shows the city is doing well in terms of financial soundness the “operating indicators and capital asset statistics” section trends over the last 10 fiscal years at the very least underscores challenges the city is facing or at the worst areas where Manteca may be running on borrowed time due to stretching efficiency to the maximum.
While former Police Chief Nick Obligacion didn’t put much stock in the hard fast rule of 1 officer per 1,000 residents that many municipal law enforcement agencies try to adhere to noting it was more important how manpower was utilized, it is clear Manteca isn’t even close to restoring police staffing to the pre-recession high of 83 officers in 2009.
That said, Obligacion — in working with the City Council — was able to rebound officer staffing from a low of 58 officers in 2011 and 21 support personnel in 2012 to 65 officers and 29 support personnel by 2016. Part of the partial re-staffing was made possible by using a public safety endowment fund paid into by Atherton Homes and Pulte Homes that has no additional money coming in and is expected to run out of money within five or so years. The city has used sales and property tax gains in the past few years to shift funding of the officers secured with the endowment fund to the general fund.
Current Police Jodie Estarziau has indicated that the department definitely has staffing needs that she hopes to address some of it in working with the council in the upcoming budget for the fiscal year starting July 1, 2017.
The Manteca Fire Department in terms of staffing was better off in 2016 than 2007. There were 36 sworn personnel and 14 reserves in 2007 compared to 49 sworn personnel and 22 reserves in 2016.
There are signs of problems on the horizon. A federal grant that funds six firefighters runs out at the end of this year. At the same time growth is putting pressure on the city to build and staff Manteca’s fifth fire station at Atherton Drive and Woodward Avenue in the southeast portion of the city.
Calls handled by the fire department went from 4,589 in 2008 (the number for 2007 is not available) to 6,682 in 2016. Nearly 90 percent of the calls the fire department handles are for medical emergencies.
Public safety is not the only city functions challenged by growth and trying to return manpower to 2009 levels before budget cuts forced by the recession went into effect.
The administration staff has been trying to address the city workforce dilemma by not simply filling vacated positions. Instead they are constantly rethinking positrons as they did to cover recession imposed staffing cutbacks.
Manteca overall had 379.5 full-time equivalents in 2007 compared to 367 in 2016. Staffing peaked at 418 FTE in 2009, dropped to 360 in 2010 and bottomed out at 330 in 2013. Manteca had 51 less municipal workers in 2016 than they did in 2009 before the recession forced cutbacks.
The only non-public safety departments with growth since 2007 are the enterprise accounts separate from the general fund that have their costs covered by user fees.
In those three accounts:
Water went from 17 full-time equivalents in 2007 to 25 in 2016.
Wastewater went from 27 FTEs in 2007 to 35 in 2016.
Solid waste went from 32 FTEs in 2007 to 37 in 2017.
The number of households paying monthly fees rose by around 2,500 over the 10-year period.
Public works went from 55 full time equivalents in 2007 to 35 in 2016. That includes the street maintenance crew that was slashed in half due to the recession and has had no positions restored since. There were 186 miles and 4,300 street lights to maintain in 2007 compared to 250 miles of streets and 5,405 street lights in 2016. Everything else the streets division is in charge of went up significantly as well from street signs to sidewalks.
Parks maintenance is in the same boat. In 2007 they had 46 parks with 275 acres to maintain along with 23 landscape maintenance/community facilities districts and 8,629 street trees. In 2016 those numbers were at 65 parks with 382 acres along with 38 landscape/community facilities districts and 18,500 street trees.
To contact Dennis Wyatt, email firstname.lastname@example.org