No increases are expected in the Salt Lake Police Department's 1990 fiscal budget. But officials intend to seek funding for additional officers.

"It looks like we're going to have a flat budget this year" with no additional increases over the current $20 million budget, Chief Mike Chabries said.Police union President Dave Greer said serious negotiations over wage and cost-of-living increases, which have been non-existent the past three years, will begin on March 27.

Department officials this week were meeting about the July 1 to June 30, 1990, budget. And officials now are looking at hiring additional officers by spring.

"If we can get up to full strength, that will be 50 officers we have hired since I joined the department," Chabries said Wednesday. Chabries, the former Utah Highway Patrol commander, joined the Salt Lake department last summer.

Up to 1,500 people "show interest in our testing" that is part of the application process, said Lt. Col. Ed Johnson.

Last September, 25 officers joined the department, the first class of recruits hired since 1986. By the time screening is done after the call for officers, up to 600 people take the test to become officers.

"We're looking at 40 applicants," Johnson said, adding, "We've had some excellent applicants."

"We will screen those applicants the sixth and seventh of March," he said. "We should know by then the number we can hire."

The department has an authorized strength of 320 officers. "We're really right now 20 under that" number, Johnson said, adding, "We're hoping to hire officers and be up to full strength by April."