David Condon

Funding For Police and Fire Will Help Make Spokane Safer

David Condon, Mayor, No Phone Number Available

Thursday, July 31, 2014 at 2:25 p.m.

Thursday marks an important step forward for our police and fire departments in making Spokane the safest city of its size.

A resolution and ordinance signed Thursday authorizes $26 million in funding for police and fire vehicle and equipment needs.

The money 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. Consistency and continuity of funding in this area is an important building block for the police and fire departments.

The funding is part of the continuing evolution of our public safety models to better serve citizens who need our help.

Already this year, the Spokane Police Department has:

  • Leveraged data in new and different 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
  • And, added new officers to be on pace to get back to 300 officers in the department this year

The Spokane Fire Department has been equally busy. Among its accomplishments, the 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
  • Continued to meet and exceed response time targets for fire and medical calls
  • Completed a supplemental response agreement with Fire District 3 to provide better service to the Eagle Ridge area

These are just some of the police and fire department highlights that make Spokane safer today than it was a year ago.

The City Council supported this funding strategy to support our police and fire departments, approving both the mechanism and the money. The command staffs of both the police and fire departments and the men and women of both departments were also integral to getting us to this point – one that makes the entire community stronger, and sets us on a course to affordably provide the needed tools to keep Spokane safe.

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