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Q&A: UCPD representative discusses budget, funding methodology

By Roberto Luna Jr.

April 13, 2016 12:25 a.m.

University police manages a budget of more than $12 million, about 60 percent of which is used to pay its staff. Each year, UCPD’s finance division determines how money is distributed to each department, and aims to solve issues such as deficits.

The Daily Bruin recently requested UCPD’s budget for the past five years. Documents show funding has increased consistently over the past couple of years, and UCPD’s deficits in 2010 and 2011 were followed by three years of surplus.

The Daily Bruin’s Roberto Luna Jr. spoke with Suzanne Lauver, UCPD’s business and finance manager, to break down the budget.

Daily Bruin: Where does funding for UCPD come from?

Suzanne Lauver: About 60 percent of the funding for UCPD comes from the state’s general fund. Thirty-eight percent comes from income from contracts with other campus departments and fees for services such as security at special events and fingerprint services. Two percent comes from external income such as grants or special programs.

DB: UCPD’s budget is broken down into certain categories such as equipment, benefits and fee remissions, materials and supplies and communications. Can you elaborate on what falls under each category?

SL: Equipment includes non-computer equipment such as leasing copiers and maintenance, and service agreements for our fleet of vehicles.

Benefits and fee remissions includes cost of benefits for employees such as health, dental and vision, and fees such as workers’ compensation, social security and contributions to their retirement plans.

Materials and supplies includes items such as fuels and lubricants, flares, safety vests, ammunition, uniforms for dispatch and office supplies. Communications includes items such as mailing supplies, telephones and Internet service.

DB: How is funding determined for each of those categories?

SL: Generally we look at historical usage, evaluate new or changing needs and forecast an amount for the proposed budget year.

DB: What is the process of determining the budget? How many people are involved and what kinds of things do you evaluate?

SL: There’s an internal review of business needs, historical expenses and trends. New programs or conditions that may affect requirements are considered in relation to campuswide budget assumptions, and then a draft budget is prepared. We also speak with campus business partners and organizational leadership. Budget reviews are conducted with Financial Management Services, which then submits the budget to the Policy Committee on Sales and Service Activities and Service Enterprises, or POSSSE, for approval and for other executives to review.

DB: UCPD had deficits in 2010 and 2011, because expenditures exceeded allocations, and in 2010, the deficit exceeded $1 million. Why are there deficits and how does UCPD plan to avoid them?

SL: Most of the deficit is due to unfunded compensation increases such as wages and benefits. A solution to the deficit is currently under discussion.

DB: Why has there been a $700,000 increase in the budget from 2015 to 2016? How does UCPD plan to accommodate that?

SL: This budget increase is mostly attributable to compensation increases. Requesting additional money from sources is something we discuss during the budgeting process.

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Roberto Luna Jr. | News senior staff
Roberto Luna Jr. is currently a senior staffer covering Westwood, crime and transportation. He was previously an assistant News editor from 2015-2016 and a News contributor from 2014-2015.
Roberto Luna Jr. is currently a senior staffer covering Westwood, crime and transportation. He was previously an assistant News editor from 2015-2016 and a News contributor from 2014-2015.
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