Wise Money Management Keeps UC Davis PD in the Black

Savings resulting from smart officer scheduling, the appropriate deployment of technology and partnering with other departments are just some of the reasons why Annette Spicuzza was named the 2008 Education Campus Safety Director of the Year.

During these tough economic times, it pays to be fiscally responsible.
And nowhere is that more evident than at the University of California, Davis where Police Chief Annette Spicuzza has been able to maintain her department’s outstanding service to the community despite significant budget cuts.

“The chief is always looking for ways to do more with less or streamline processes using technologies and implementing best industry practices,” says UC Davis Management Services Officer Susan Wagler.

Indeed, when considering upgrades or spending, Spicuzza takes her time, considers all the options and investigates how the proposed solutions will impact campus public safety long term. “We’re not going to go back and spend more money in another two years,” she says. “The goal is to buy the piece of equipment that is going to give us the biggest bang for our buck and do the job we want and need it to do.”

Spicuzza Has Reputation for Fiscal Responsibility
This approach has worked to her advantage because now she and her department are known for using their resources wisely. “Chief Spicuzza is someone who, when she comes into my office for funds for something special, she gets it because she manages her resources so well,” says UC Davis Vice Chancellor of Administration Stan Nosek. “She always looks to solve financial problems within her own jurisdiction first before coming for help.”

***Nominations for the 2009 Campus Safety Director of the Year program are now being accepted! For complete information, visit www.campussafetymagazine.com/DirectorOfTheYear.***

Although in the past year, her department endured an 8 percent budget cut, according to Spicuzza, the decrease could have been much worse had her department not developed the reputation for being conscientious about resources. “Being fiscally responsible all along has helped us as times get tougher,” she says.

That said, an 8 percent budget cut is still a very difficult pill to swallow for any organization. Fortunately, the chief has not been forced to cut any police officers from her department. Instead, she gave up some vacancies that did not affect services.

Her staffing has enabled her to go to a different scheduling model, which also saves resources. “We’ve combined a 4-10/3-12, which then gives me an overlap day,” she says. “This gives me a training day, which takes away from overtime.” Additionally, the overlap enables her officers to do more emphasis patrols.

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About the Author

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Robin has been covering the security and campus law enforcement industries since 1998 and is a specialist in school, university and hospital security, public safety and emergency management, as well as emerging technologies and systems integration. She joined CS in 2005 and has authored award-winning editorial on campus law enforcement and security funding, officer recruitment and retention, access control, IP video, network integration, event management, crime trends, the Clery Act, Title IX compliance, sexual assault, dating abuse, emergency communications, incident management software and more. Robin has been featured on national and local media outlets and was formerly associate editor for the trade publication Security Sales & Integration. She obtained her undergraduate degree in history from California State University, Long Beach.

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