Accounting and consulting firm BerryDunn has been hired to review the operations of Newton, Iowa’s police department, according to a report in the Newton Daily News.
As part of the $20,000 consulting contract, the Portland, Maine-based consultancy will analyze the Newton Police Department’s (NPD) operations and staffing levels to see if the police force is meeting community needs.
BerryDunn will examine the workload of patrollers and investigators, response times, personnel allocation, technology, diversity, and hiring, among other areas. The resulting data will help the city council make staffing and resources decisions in the future.
NPD Police Chief Rob Burdess said such studies are commonly conducted every decade or so, in order to help ensure that departments are functioning properly and are adequately resourced.
Burdess said the police force currently lacks the resources to conduct an effective community engagement program – which helps build trust between communities and the police. The police chief said the department currently only has the staffing capacity to be reactive and call-driven.
The city’s FY21 budget currently includes the hiring of two additional police officer positions.
BerryDunn’s review is slated to be completed in four to five months, with status reports distributed monthly.
The firm provides a full range of accounting and consulting services, working extensively with town, local, and state governments, as well as with other public sector clients and commercial clients. Berry Dunn was founded in 1974, with offices across Maine, New Hampshire, Connecticut, West Virginia, and Arizona.
The company is a member of the BDO Alliance of independent firms, and is northern New England’s largest accounting firm.