Spokane City Council Commits $6 Million to City of Spokane Public Safety

Lisa Gardner, City Council Communications Director, 509.625.6226

Monday, March 28, 2022 at 5:04 p.m.

During today’s City Council Legislative Session, Council adopted 7-0 a resolution committing a substantial investment of at least $6,271,869 in 2022 into City of Spokane public safety vehicles. This investment includes four new fire pumper trucks totaling $3.9 million and thirty-five new police vehicles and additional support at the cost of $2,564,000 with the option of further consideration of more police vehicles later in 2022.

Council approved a 2022 budget that increased Spokane Police Department’s (SPD) year-over-year funding by approximately 6%.  In addition to SPD’s budget increase, last December Council approved a special budget ordinance to increase 2021 expenditure appropriation levels for the Fire/EMS Fund by $3.5 million to cover unexpected uniform overtime, and management needs just days before approving the City’s 2022 budget.   

“City Council collaborated with the Administration to recover from the COVID-19 funding crisis and return to Council’s previous annual investments into public safety vehicles,” says Council President Breean Beggs.  “Additionally, creating a more sustainable fleet that lasts longer will cost less, and is more effective in protecting community members.”

As part of the resolution, Council committed to consider a special budget ordinance to increase public safety vehicle funding for the purchase, commissioning, and support in the amount of $6,271,869 from American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds for revenue replacement as follows:

  1. $2,374,000 of the increased appropriation is to be used solely for the purchase and commissioning of the following thirty-five police vehicles:
    • Up to 25 Ford K8 Electric Hybrid models,
    1. Up to 5 Ford Mach-E or equivalent models,
    2. Up to 3 Ford Lightening or equivalent models; and
    3. Up to 2 Chevrolet Diesel Tahoe or equivalent diesel models.
  2. $3,707,869 of the increased appropriation is to be used solely for the purchase and commissioning of four fire pumper trucks.
  3. $90,000 of the increased appropriation is to be used solely for the purchase and installation of electric charging infrastructure.
  4. $100,000 of the increased appropriation is to be transferred to Fleet Services for the procurement of a study to reduce police vehicle maintenance and purchase costs by proposing reforms to take home vehicle, when cages are included and fleet rotational policies and recommend electric vehicle model choices based on experiences of other police departments and independent analysis.

“This police vehicle funding strategy provides a short-term solution of continuing to purchase hybrid vehicles and continues the long-term commitment to testing all-electric vehicles,” said Councilmember Lori Kinnear.  “This action demonstrates, yet again, this Council’s commitment to supporting our police department.”

“Council continues to invest in and improve our public safety while following the lead of police departments across the country growing a greener fleet,” added Councilmember Zack Zappone.  “This investment in police vehicles is a step in the direction to save taxpayers money that we can reinvest in public safety.”

Since 2016, as requested by SPD and Administration, Spokane City Council has funded 201 new police vehicles, with 52 new vehicles in 2020. Council plans to review fire and police public safety vehicle needs, assess the results of the outside consulting study, and any pilot deployment of the Ford Lightning and Mach-E models or equivalent during the October 3, 2022, Public Safety Committee meeting.  Council will also consider further ARPA investments for public safety vehicle funding.