Duluth police, fire departments present 2024 budget proposals

The Duluth City Council will approve the final version of the 2024 budget in December.
Published: Oct. 31, 2023 at 5:46 PM CDT
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DULUTH, MN. (Northern News Now) - The Duluth Police and Fire departments are asking for more money in their budgets next year.

Both departments’ leaders presented their proposed 2024 budgets to the City Council Monday night.

Police Chief Mike Ceynowa says they’re understaffed and looking for more financial assistance to help recruit officers.

“Right now we have 10 vacancies at all levels of our department,” said Ceynowa. “From the top administration level all the way down to our officer’s categories. We have been fortunate despite our short staffing.”

The Duluth Police Department is proposing a $27 million dollar budget this upcoming year, which is about $300,000 more than last year.

Ceynowa hopes that funding could help combat recruitment challenges such as wages and housing availability.

“Especially when we look to our lateral candidates even from out of state that would love to come and work here or would love to come and work here,” said Ceynowa. “The challenges of housing has been difficult for them.”

The Duluth Fire Chief Shawn Krizaj says his department also needs more funding for the upcoming year.

“Then our budget will go from the $20,900,000 to almost $22 million assuming that passes later this year,” Krizaj said.

The Duluth Fire Department says they need the funding to properly clean turnout gear twice a year, to add more education practices on responding to emergency calls, and to combat an increased cost of software services.

The Duluth City Council will approve the final version of the 2024 budget in December.

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