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Other Budget Issues

Last Updated: 3/7/2012
Budget Issue: Funding to upgrade Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) radio system
Program: Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control
Finding or Recommendation: Reduce Governor's January budget proposal by $122,000 for the purchase of new hand-held and vehicle-mounted radios. The ABC has a persistent high vacancy rate and so 190 units of each type of radio should sufficiently equip all peace officer staff.
Further Detail

Fewer Radios Needed Than Requested. The Governor's budget requests $1.9 million for the purchase and installation of 215 vehicle-mounted radios and 215 hand-held radios. The ABC contracts with the California Highway Patrol (CHP) for radio dispatch services. The CHP is in the process of upgrading its radio system to meet modern standards. This budget request will allow ABC peace officers to continue to communicate with CHP and other public safety agencies in the state. However, 215 radios of each type is unjustified given the current and historical vacancy rate at ABC. As of June 30, 2011 ABC had 214 authorized peace officer positions and 55 vacancies. The ABC has indicated that they are taking steps to fill these vacancies and improve retention. However, it has not had more than 190 peace officer positions filled since 2007. As a result, we think it is highly unlikely it will need more than 190 of each type of radio. Based on cost estimates provided by the ABC, we recommend reducing the request by $122,000 for the purchase of 25 fewer radios of each type.