As Goodyear grows, so does its police department.
The city has grown by more than 25% over the last decade, from a population of around 65,000 to more than 80,000.
The Goodyear Police Department spent $24.5 in fiscal year 2019 (which ended June 30), less than the budgeted $26 million. The city budgeted $29 million for the current fiscal year, This is a 55% increase over the $18.6 million the Goodyear Police Department spent in 2016.
This current budget provides for 163 employees, up from 151 last year.
In addition to salary and benefit increases, expanding the force has led to more trainings, seminars, equipment and other expenditures.
From Jan. 1 through Oct. 1, records provided by the city show around $35,000 in police department reimbursements.
Reimbursements include officer reimbursments of $9,500 for ballistic, also known as bullet proof, vests.
There were multiple reimbursements for tuition, ranging from $500 to $1,500.
By far the most common reimbursements were per diem requests - fixed amounts for lodging, meals and incidental expenses. Officers requested and received per diems generally ranging from $100 to $250 for dozens of conferences, trainings and seminars.
More than $100,000 was charged to the department’s credit cards this year.
Charges include $250 for a mannequin in the police department lobby; $624 for plane tickets to a forensic artist training; $80 for raffle prizes for an FBI training; $369.28 for chief’s mugs; $599 for a taser training; two $950 registration fees for a Tyler Technologies training and another $1,400 in hotel fees for the same conference; $1,057 on candy for a May awards ceremony; $1,417 spent on a dummy for “training and hiring testing;” $3,523 for a cell phone investigations training; $99 on a Facebook investigations webinar; $675 for five Arizona Association of Chiefs of Police registrations, for the AACOP conference.
Thousands of dollars disbursed on travel and lodging for trainings and seminars.
Chief Jerry Geieir, Deputy Chief Justin Hughes and Officer Kyle Cluff, who were placed on administrative leave following allegations of “improprieties” on Oct. 7, all received similar per diem reimbursements previously noted.
Geier, Hughes and Susan Petty, an administrative worker who was also placed on leave, were three of the 19 employees authorized to use the Police Department’s credit card.
The city still has not provided specifics of the allegations. The city declined to answer multiple requests by the West Valley View for details of the allegations.
The expenses of the three seem mundane and do not stand out from scores of similar requests and reimbursements.
On July 25, Cluff was reimbursed $244 for an AZ Post Physical Fitness Instructor training.
Geier and Hughes both attended the Arizona Association of Chiefs of Police (AACOP) conference in Laughlin, Nevada back in September and later submitted reimbursement requests related to the conference.
On Aug 29., Geier submitted a per diem invoice request of $99 listed as “AACOP 9/11-9/13.” He was compensated the $99 by check on Sept. 5.
On Aug. 20, Hughes submitted a per diem AACOP request of $146, also listed as “9/10-/9/13 AACOP conference.” He was later paid the $146 by check on Sept. 5.
On Sept. 10, Hughes submitted an invoice identified as “lodging paid personally” of $133.32. He was paid the requested reimbursement on Sept. 19.
On the police credit card, Geier charged $18.88 at the front desk of the Aquarius Casino on Sept. 12, later described as “lodging AACOP.” He then charged $36 that day at the Edgewater Hotel and Casino for “lodging for Ben Coe.” Coe is a Goodyear officer.
At some point on Sept. 12, Hughes charged $53 at a Chevron earmarked as “fuel AACOP Conference to Laughlin.”