Mayor signs public safety funding authorization

$26 million directed to police, fire capital needs

Brian Coddington, Communications Director, 509.625.6740

Thursday, July 31, 2014 at 12:44 p.m.

Spokane Mayor David Condon today signed a resolution and ordinance authorizing $26 million in funding for police and fire vehicle and equipment needs.

Funding comes from property tax revenue that has been dedicated to paying for capital needs for public safety. The City Council approved a 1 percent property tax increase as part of the 2014 budget to replace aging fire apparatus, police cars and equipment, and meet reoccurring needs in those areas. Collection of funds and purchase of the equipment will occur over six years.

“Today marks an important step forward for our police and fire departments in making Spokane the safest city of our size,” Condon said. “We are continually evolving our public safety models to better serve citizens who need our help.”

Already this year, the Spokane Police Department has:

  • Leveraged data in new ways to drive down crime nearly 11 percent overall citywide
  • Earned state accreditation from the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs
  • Partnered with the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission to re-establish the Basic Law Enforcement Training Academy in eastern Washington
  • Added new officers to be on pace to get back to 300 officers in the department this year

The Spokane Fire Department has:

  • Extended a successful Alternative Response Unit pilot program that dispatches smaller vehicles to non-life-threatening emergency medical service calls through 2016
  • Added four firefighters to Fire Station 9 to restore firefighting capability to that station
  • Completed a supplemental response agreement with Fire District 3 to assist with lowering insurance rates to the residents in the Eagle Ridge/Qualchan area
  • Implemented a new electronic patient care reporting system that improved the overall emergency medical services system and comprehensive approach to integrated medical care with local hospitals
  • Initiated rescue task force teams to respond with the Spokane Police Department on active shooter incidents to provide improved patient care to victims of these tragic events

Disciplined budgeting over the past two years positioned the City to be able to create a sustainable funding stream to meet ongoing public safety capital needs. Dedicated revenue introduces consistency and continuity of funding for reoccurring apparatus, vehicle and equipment needs.

The resolution signed by Condon authorized the funding mechanism while the ordinance allocates the money to purchase the vehicles and equipment. The City Council approved both at its July 14 meeting.