Lincoln Police Department Cutting Costs

The Lincoln Police Department is looking to make a few changes to help cut costs.

Beginning next year, you may see more police officers riding together to help increase efficiency and reduce costs and another way to cut spending? Use today's latest technology.

In the face of budget shortfalls, the Lincoln Police Department is looking to reduce its vehicle fleet and team up officers.  Chief of Police Jim Peschong says beginning next year, ten total cruisers will be removed and with officers working together, they can utilize more technology in responding to calls…”that's one reason why we can police the city with the small workforce that we do wind up having because we are heavily immersed in technology here,” Peschong says.

Peschong is also considering taking advantage of more electronics.  He says sometimes when they take a person into custody, they claim to be sick or injured. He says the department spends nearly 60,000 dollars per year on emergency room costs. “We pay a lot of money for medical services and so anything that I can do to try and cut that down, I want to look at that,” Peschong says.

And one way to reduce that cost?  Telemedicine.  A doctor would assess an arrested individuals health through a video conference to see if a trip to the hospital is necessary.

In Norfolk, they saved over 100,000 dollars in expenses last year alone using telemedicine. “Savings definitely can be had which really means that we need to be looking at it.”

Peschong says this would help decrease the amount of time officers spend at hospitals.  The machine is capable of reading blood pressure, heart rate and can even perform EKG's.

One worry that Peschong does have with using telemedicine is the risk of paying doctors for their consultations, yet continuing to send people to the ER. He wants to make sure savings will be part of the program.