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Farmington police chief gives annual report

Gary Rutherford

Ten months after taking over as police chief at the Farmington Police Department, Gary Rutherford provided an annual report during the city council meeting June 17.

"This report is intended to be an overall snapshot of our operations and programs," Rutherford said. "When I took over this position, we had a strong commitment towards improving communications internally within the police department, as well as elected officials and the public."

Department budget

The police department's total budget is $4,608,013 with operating costs at $92,250. The largest portion of the budget is personnel costs ($3,526,027) and annual fixed costs to operate the department ($833,056).

"The Hub (the police department records division) is often the first point of contact for the public, attorneys, the state court, city employees and other law enforcement agencies," he said. "They provide answers and assistance or direct people to the appropriate place to get the information."

The Hub processes data requests, gun permit and license applications, and city employee and city volunteer background checks. The administrative staff work to maintain records and are responsible for reconciling and reporting information to the state.

Farmington Police Department spent more than $227,000 on training expenses from July 2017 to June 30, 2018. Of the total amount, $180,075 funded salaries and wages to attend training. The rest was spent on remaining categories.

"In 2018, we were reimbursed a total of $22,011.09 or almost 10% of our documented expenses," Rutherford said.

Training officers

Minnesota has 197 drug recognition evaluators from 92 agencies. Farmington police employs two, officers Chris Lutz and Pete Zajac.

The South Metro SWAT team is comprised of 46 police officers from Dakota and Rice counties. In addition to crisis negotiators and paramedics assigned to this team, two officers — Andrew Van Dorn and Jason Amundson — are assigned to this team.

"Training is a big deal and they train 160 hours a year and most of them train more than that," Rutherford said.

The department spent a total of 3,157 hours in training — an average of 131.5 hours per officer. Remarking on police calls, Rutherford said calls for service jumped to nearly 2,000 calls.

"I am not willing to label it a trend yet because I want to see the 2019 numbers," Rutherford said. "But my point is that is our call volumes are growing by 2,000 calls that is significant and that can lead to stress on our staff."