Budgeting Development Analysis
HoustonPolice Department (HPD) is the main law enforcement agency thatserves the City of Houston, Texas. The headquarters for the policedepartment are at 1200 Travis in Downtown Houston (HPD,2017).Its jurisdiction often overlaps with that of other law enforcementagencies such as the Harris County Sheriff`s Office. Nevertheless,HPD is the largest municipal law enforcement agency in the state ofTexas. The agency is under the leadership of Art Acevedo, and itsmission is to improve the people`s quality of life in the city ofHouston through collaborative efforts to prevent criminal activities,implement laws and enhance peace and safety.
Selectany law enforcement agency and discuss if they have a business planthat incorporates revenue generation operations
HoustonPolice Department is a massive agency. The agency does not have abusiness plan that incorporates its revenue generating activitiesbecause it does not run business enterprises. However, the departmenthas a range of revenue sources that occur in the form of servicesthat it offers to the public. These sources of revenue are capturedin its annual budget where it plans on how to spend the proceeds infinancing its operations. Despite the nonexistence of a business planfor the agency, it incorporates all its revenues in its annual budgetin a transparent manner (HPD,2017).
Analyzethe importance of grants in public budget development
Grantsplay a key role in transforming budgeting in the public sector. Thisis because they help authorities to undertake projects that theywould not have otherwise undertaken. Through grants, authorities canallocate funds that they would not have otherwise had to projectsaimed at improving the facilities, educational opportunities, socialprograms and emergency preparedness for the community (Story, 2012).Moreover, grant monies are under close monitoring to ensure they areutilized for purposes they are meant to be used. This enhancestransparency and accountability in the public domain.
Discussthe revenue sources available to your local police department andtheir importance to police management.
Therevenue sources for Houston Police Department are categorized intothree broad categories: general funds, special funds, and grantfunds. The general fund includes revenue that is received throughallocations by the city and the office of public safety. Each policedepartment must receive these funds from the local administration andthe office of public safety to be able to finance its primaryoperations. The second category of revenue sources is the specialfunds. Special funds represent a wide range revenue sources for theHPD. The first special fund is the Auto Dealers Fund, which isreceived through the operations of the Auto Dealers Division of theHPD. This division regulates automotive-related licensing, storagelots and towing industry licensing. The revenues generated from theseservices are placed in the Auto Dealers Fund.
Thesecond type of special fund is the Asset Forfeiture Fund. The HPDreceives proceeds from asset forfeiture in accordance to thestipulations by the United States Department of Justice, the State ofTexas, and the United States Treasury. These proceeds are generatedthrough the law enforcement efforts to prevent or stop illegal andcriminal undertakings. All the proceeds generated from assetforfeiture must be utilized to support the agency’s law enforcementmandate. The third type of special fund is the Police SpecialServices Fund that was formed to account for funds received fromother agencies or organizations as reimbursement to the HPD for costsincurred in the provision of services for law enforcement purposes(TheCity of Houston, 2017).Such special services include participation in joint policeoperations and traffic control activities such as fund runs,festivals, and parades.
Moreover,the Mobility Response Team Fund is another type of Special Fund forthe HPD. The mission of this team entails responding and mitigatingsignificant traffic congestion caused by defective traffic signals,accidents and other mobility issues around the city. The team is apartnership between the police department and the departments ofPublic Works and Engineering (PWE) and engineering. Resources aredeployed for approximately 16 hours every day, and the partnershipwith the PWE engineers is necessary for developing a long-termsolution to facilitate traffic management (HPD,2017).
Thethird category of revenue sources for HPD is the grant funds. Grantfunds are normally donations to the agency through the Houston PoliceFoundation (HPF), which was established in 2005. The HPF receives andadministers grants and contributions in the form of money or propertyfrom individuals, public sources, or private organizations. Theproceeds from these donations help in programs and activities meantto strengthen the HPD in its efforts to promote public safety andenhance its relations with the community (Peacock,2013).The foundation relies on the kindness of individuals and institutionsfor its projects and operating budgets. The HPD has authorized theHPF to seek funding from private sources to support the department’sinitiatives. However, the foundation does not engage in telemarketingand does not provide any goods or services in exchange for support.
Whatanalysis process and policies does your city use to set fees forservices rates? Are donors important?
TheCity of Houston provides many services to the public at a fee. Mostof the city’s revenue proceeds come from the service fees that itcharges the community. These service fees are also known as costrecovery. The city charges different fees for the various servicesthat it offers. These services include housing rents, burial groundcharges, litter fines, pay parking, museum fees and landfill chargesamong others (Green& Controller, 2012).
Goodpractice principles and guidelines ought to be followed when settingthese fees and charges because they offer a framework within whichdecisions can be based and provide a foundation for actions. The Cityof Houston is guided by such principles. First, any charges imposedshould reflect the cost of providing the service or product inquestion. Second, it ensures that all cost recovery arrangements havean indisputable legal authority for their imposition. Third, chargesand fees should not be imposed where it is not cost effective, orwhere there is no consistency with objectives of government policy(Green& Controller, 2012).
Moreover,the city requires that before any charges or fees are levied, thecosts incurred in the provision of the services must be reasonablyborne. In addition, the city manager and each head of the departmentare required to conduct an annual review of fees and service chargesto provide an adjustable schedule of those fees. Lastly, all fees andcharges levied must adhere to the principles of efficiency,effectiveness, equity, ethics, clarity, and transparency (Green& Controller, 2012).
Doesyour state allow the establishment of the enterprise zone and what istheir impact on a law enforcement agency?
TheState of Texas allows the establishment of the Enterprise ZoneProgram (EZP), which is deemed an economic platform for the public tocollaborate with the state to promote the creation of jobs andfacilitate private investments to boost the economically challengedareas in the state. By July 2015, the EPZ program in Texas accountedfor 979 projects and the creation of over 400,000 jobs and over $74billion in capital investments (Peacock,2013).The Texas state EPZ does not have any direct impacts to the HPD.However, the program comes with additional obligations to theagency’s mandate of law enforcement and promoting safety to enhancea peaceful working and business environment.
Green,R. C., & Controller, C. (2012). CITY OF HOUSTONTEXAS. Aviation, 7,5.
HoustonPolice Department (HPD). 2017. "Welcome To The City Of HoustonEgovernment Center". Houstontx.Gov.http://www.houstontx.gov/.
Peacock,B. (2013). The Texas Model: Economic Development Texas-Style.
Story,L. (2012). Lines blur as Texas gives industries a bonanza. NewYork Times.
TheCity of Houston,. 2017. "Texas Enterprise Zones".Houstontx.Gov.http://www.houstontx.gov/ecodev/enterprise_zones.html.
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