As Police Academy Faces Deficit, Falmouth Considers Boosting Funding

FALMOUTH – As the Barnstable County-operated Cape Cod Municipal Police Academy (CCMPA) experiences a deficit of $170,000, Falmouth town officials have considered increasing their contribution towards the program.

At this week’s select board meeting, Select Board Chair Douglas Brown said the program—intended to be self-sustainable and operate on a volunteer basis—was revealed to be down in funding after a recent audit brought forward to the county assembly of delegates recently. 

“There was an audit down which showed that there hadn’t been sufficient budgeting down and consideration of actual expenses versus revenue,” said Brown.

Brown said that according to a memorandum of understanding brought forward by Academy Director Peter Carnes, budgeting concerns fell under the responsibility of county staff, while the police officials would handle the training. 

“It really puts the responsibility back on the county. There was lot of criticism of the people running the police academy at the time, and I felt that it was really unfortunate that it happened when we weren’t really fully informed,” said Brown.

During the select board discussion, Brown said that the facility is critical for supplying the Cape community with local officer training and maintaining public safety. 

He also added that having the training facility on Cape saves the towns money, and that if Falmouth considered increasing its funding, the program could break even while still providing the fiscal benefit of a local program.

“Maybe if we offer to kick in another 500 per trainee that would lead it towards some sustainability.”

Town Manager Julian Suso also raised the possibility of raising the tuition costs per trainee of the academy to help cover the deficit. 

He also said that funds provided to the county by the American Rescue Plan Act could be used to cover the costs until a more permanent solution could be found.

Board member Sam Patterson said that the deficit shouldn’t be the responsibility of the towns, however did support increasing how much the town provides moving forward to cover training costs of officers.

“I would be more than happy to pay a higher tuition fee or whatever it is. Transportation alone, having somebody off Cape, adds up pretty quickly. If we have to pay for them to spend the night or several nights: that’s a cost the town would bear anyway,” said Patterson. 

According to Brown, Falmouth Police Chief Edward Dunne will petition the state to take over the CCMPA’s finances.

The board will discuss the issue again at the beginning of next month, including a potential vote. 

About Grady Culhane

Grady Culhane is a Cape Cod native currently living in Eastham. He studied media communications at Cape Cod Community College and joined the News Center in 2019.
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