Armed police force to save UO $73,000

2/1/2011: Matt Wolf in the ODE reports that VP for Finance Frances Dyke’s budget claims that:

… The fiscal impact statement indicates that the passage of SB 116, which would allow for the transition of the Department of Public Safety into a sworn police agency, would have a minimal financial impact on the University. The document even indicated that over a six-year transition period after the implementation of such a plan would actually cost the University less money than continuing to operate its current DPS unchanged …

Smith also said that under the University’s current plan, it would like to have 26 sworn police officers on a proposed future campus police agency by 2017. Under the fiscal impact statement there would be five sworn officers, likely pulled from pre-existing DPS personnel within one year of the bills. The University would add five more sworn officers for a total of 10 by 2013. Although he said the amount was miniscule, in the larger scheme of a six-year budget, Smith said the University could save $73,000 over the course of the next six years in switching to a sworn agency.

This is nonsense. I’m no economist, but I believe they call this sort of thing “the liar’s budget” – the numbers you make up to justify a decision you are making regardless of the costs.

DPS has been inflating its budget in prep for this, it’s up 115% over the past 6 years. That’s before the new senior administrative hires, including this Director of Security and this Director of Parking and Transportation. Who will of course each need staff, 4×4, office, etc. Meanwhile UO has started an entirely new office on the side, in charge of Emergency Management to further hide the costs of this proposal.

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