By Joseph Hamrick
Commerce Police Chief Kerry Crews said he has found a way to add another investigator to the police department, without burdening the already thin Commerce city budget.
“I do understand we are in a budget crunch,” he said during a Jan. 23 city council workshop meeting. “I think adding another investigator to the department would help with our high case load of major warrants.”
Along with Crews, Commerce City Manager Marc Clayton found a grant, the Emergency Management Performance Grant (EMPG), the city once used.
“The EMPG grant is a great opportunity,” Clayton said. “We were awarded $28,000 this year.”
According to Crews, there are some stipulations to the grant.
“The officer must commit 51 percent of his time as the emergency management coordinator,” he said. “A lot of record keeping is involved and there are a lot of hoops to jump through to keep it.”
Crews said it would be worth the hassle, as it would allow the officer to work part time with the other police investigators, who Crews said have a high caseload of major warrants.
“There are few misdemeanors that are being investigated right now because our caseload has increased,” he said, adding that several cases since May of last year are still pending. “The new position would help Chris Vaughan work narcotics.”
Although the grant would help the department out with morale and emergency preparedness, Crews said the job is never done.
“You never get caught up,” he said. “There is always something to keep you busy.”