HAMMOND | The Hammond Police Department is requesting to transfer money that had been budgeted for new police cars to fund overtime patrols, according to Police Chief Brian Miller.
The $350,000 would continue the overtime patrols, known as Henry Units, through 2013, Miller said. The Hammond City Council gave initial approval to the transfer at its Sept. 23 meeting.
“We consider it an irreplaceable asset,” Miller said. “In addition to being proactive and doing lots of positive, proactive work, they take thousands of calls.”
When needed, Henry Units work the department's “power shift” from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m., Miller said. The units are stationed in all six of the city's districts.
“If we're having a problem in a district that we can point down to a geographical area, we will supplement regular units with additional Henry Units,” Miller said.
The city also is planning to fund the overtime patrols next year. The city's proposed 2014 budget allocates $450,000 of gaming revenue to the units.
Councilman Homero “Chico” Hinojosa, D-6th, said the transfer will not cost the city additional money considering the funding already is in the police department's budget. Hinojosa, who is sponsoring the ordinance requesting the transfer, said he wants to see more Henry Units on the streets.
“It's going to be used somewhere where they need it,” Hinojosa said, “and it will take them through the end of the year.”
Hinojosa said in 2011 he gave about $150,000 in extra gaming revenue from his district for the patrols, but in 2012, the city standardized the amount the six district council members gave to the units.
“If it were up to me, I would continue putting more,” Hinojosa said. “You got to continue to have enough manpower, especially for the narcotics units and gang units.”