Columbus – As much as $81,000 annually can be saved by the Pickerington Police Department through changes to its employee benefit package, according to the performance audit released today by Auditor of State Dave Yost.
Based on a request from the City of Pickerington, a performance audit of the city’s police department was initiated to identify opportunities for savings and process improvements. The functional areas requested were compensation and benefits, and operations.
The police department can save $81,000 per year by renegotiating employee contributions to their health insurance plans and Health Savings Account funding provided by the city. Currently, employees of the police department contribute eight percent of the cost of their medical, dental and vision insurance premiums. Compared to peers in the Columbus region, Pickerington’s employee contribution rates are significantly lower. City officials should consider renegotiating employee premium contributions.
Additional suggestions were made to the police department in relation to the collective bargaining agreement. The city should renegotiate provisions that are generous when compared to peers, such as tuition reimbursement and injury leave for patrol officers and dispatchers. It was also suggested that the city create a vehicle replacement plan for the police department. In doing so, the city would have records to show the optimal time to replace a vehicle and budget constraints would be less likely to drive fleet management decisions.
The performance audit noted that the Pickerington Police Department is efficient in its use of flexible scheduling and overtime management of employees. The department’s use of overtime is significantly lower than the peer average, and the staffing to workload ratios indicate efficient operations.
The Auditor of State’s office, one of five independently elected statewide offices in Ohio, is responsible for auditing more than 5,600 state and local government agencies. Under the direction of Auditor Dave Yost, the office also provides financial services to local governments, investigates and prevents fraud in public agencies and promotes transparency in government.