FIRE AND POLICE
Investments in our fire and police departments are crucial to maintaining a safe community.
Our police and fire departments play an important role as trusted community partners: keeping our neighborhoods safe and supporting our individual residents.
City staff recommend increased funding to update our fire department facilities. With a growing population, more buildings, and more traffic, our fire protection needs are likely to increase rather than decrease. I support these investments in our fire department.
City policing is largely effective, but we must look at where and how their work will most positively meet the needs of residents. I believe that our city can support the work of law enforcement while also making sure that their efforts are sensitive to the needs and concerns of marginalized and vulnerable residents. The challenge of maintaining safety must be balanced against concerns about community climate.
Our city has started an important public discussion since hearing a report from the Police Oversight Commission Task Force. The task force report was informed by significant local expertise in social work, education, and law, as well as hundreds of hours of community engagement. I am hopeful that as the city takes steps to implement this report, residents will eventually find a safe space to discuss and address issues of over-policing, harassment, implicit bias, and other challenges. This commission is an investment toward a more positive community climate.