Comprehensive Public Safety Plan: Keeping Pace and Enhancing Emergency Services
Redmond has grown, and it’s time for our fire and police services to catch up. With safety as one of our highest priorities, we need a responsive public safety system that understands and can meet the needs of our evolving city.
IN THE PLAN: Retaining critical staff working to keep us safe, $3.5 million
- The 2007 property tax levy approved by voters included funding for 18 firefighters (enough to staff two additional aid cars) and 17 police personnel.
- Revenue from the levy by law has only grown 1% every year, while expenses have increased approximately 5% every year, rapidly outpacing revenue.
- This new plan includes $3.5 million to ensure we can retain those firefighters and police positions.
IN THE PLAN: Hiring more police personnel to keep pace with growth and maintain the highest level of safety and security, $1.98 million
- In the last 10 years, Redmond has grown by 20,000 residents – but police staffing has remained flat.
- We do not have an adequate number of on-duty officers to ensure our Police Department can continue to respond quickly in times of emergency and maintain the safety of our rapidly growing communities. We also need to hire support staff to ensure officers can focus on their job of keeping people safe and responding to calls.
- This new plan includes funding to hire 12 additional commissioned and civilian police responders.
IN THE PLAN: Increasing Police Department transparency and accountability with body worn cameras, $935,000
- Law enforcement agencies throughout the country are using body worn cameras to promote public accountability and increase transparency in interactions between officers and community members.
- This new plan includes funding to cover the ongoing needs for staffing, training, technology services, records management, public disclosure, and court case preparation.
IN THE PLAN: Growing successful partnerships with the Mental Health Professional co-responder, $688,000
- Our Police Department has one Mental Health Professional (MHP) who teams up with police officers to co-respond to calls.
- Redmond Police currently receives more calls than a single MHP can support. This new plan provides funding to hire six additional mental health responders to respond with police officers, de-escalate interactions, handle crisis intervention, and help people experiencing homelessness, mental health challenges, and substance abuse, and connects them with the right services. A non-police “community response” component will be included.
IN THE PLAN: Expanding coverage for fire services in northeast and southeast Redmond, $2.9 million
- Redmond’s Fire Department protects over $30 billion in property value, and they do it with only two fire engines.
- Station 16 in southeast Redmond and Station 17 in northeast Redmond currently do not have enough personnel to staff a fire engine, called an “engine company.” This new plan includes funding to hire enough firefighters to provide engine companies – fully staffed fire engines – to both Station 16 and Station 17, doubling Redmond’s fire suppression capacity, ensuring all of our communities have strong emergency service response, including the growing areas of northeast and southeast Redmond.
IN THE PLAN: Expanding Mobile Integrated Health to help people in crisis, $360,000
- The Mobile Integrated Health (MIH) program is a cost-effective way to increase the reliability of Redmond’s emergency resources while addressing community needs. It includes EMTs, paramedics, social workers, and mental health and substance abuse professionals who work to better understand the situation and address 911 callers’ needs and concerns, connect people to services, intervene in crises, and provide home safety inspections to help reduce injuries, which lowers trips to the emergency room.
- The program is currently available for only 40 hours a week – far less than what is needed. This new plan includes funding to increase staffing and operate the MIH program 12 hours per day, every day – more than doubling the weekly hours.
How would the plan affect staffing?
This plan would increase the overall city FTEs including:
- Police = 14% increase - from 127 to 145 FTEs
- Fire = 11% increase – from 164 to 182 FTEs
- MIH = 100% increase – from 1 to 2 FTEs
- MHP = 600% increase – from 1 to 7 FTEs