ARLINGTON — The Arlington City Council officially adopted a $406 million budget for next fiscal year, which includes pay raises and a one-time bonus for employees and expanded drug and alcohol testing for police employees.The budget, which goes into effect Oct. 1, calls for a 2 percent raise for police officers and firefighters and 1 percent raise for civilian employees. Employees will also get a 2-percent one-time bonus. Money for the raises and bonuses will come from one-time funding sources, such as savings on worker’s compensation claims, natural gas well revenue and the projected $1.4 million surplus from this fiscal year.Following a federal investigation earlier this year involving possible illegal use of steroids by some officers, the Arlington City Council approved $60,000 to expand random drug and alcohol testing to all 640 sworn police officers and some other civilian police employees.Previously, the department only required testing for new hires, for officers receiving promotions or for employees working in specific areas where they regularly come in contact with drugs, such as the narcotics unit, property room or the jail.In June, the FBI arrested 17-year veteran police officer Thomas S. Kantzos, who they said had accessed law-enforcement-only databases to tip off a dealer from whom he had been buying steroids for himself and other officers for years that he was under police surveillance.A second officer questioned by federal investigators, David Vo, committed suicide the day Kantzos was arrested. A third officer, Craig Hermans, resigned from the department in August after being placed on paid administrative leave in connection with the investigation.Arlington’s budget also includes 11 new employee positions, four police field supervisors, two code compliance officers, a park maintenance worker and four police positions that were previously grant-funded. The city will also spend more money on street and building maintenance as well as put an additional $600,000 to the annual $3 million contract with Experience Arlington, the group that markets Arlington’s convention center, hotels and tourist attractions. This includes material from Star-Telegram archives.
Susan Schrock, 817-390-7639 Twitter: @susanschrock