(SPD presentation starts 1:16 in)
In her Thursday afternoon appearance during the City Council’s first-round budget review, Police Chief Carmen Best revealed three goals for crime reduction in the year ahead: Cutting auto theft, residential burglary, and commercial robbery. She said that residential burglary had hit the Southwest and South Precinct areas particularly hard, so she wants to bring it down five percent in those areas, while reducing vehicle theft by five percent citywide, and reducing commercial robbery by two percent.
As noted when the citywide budget plan was rolled out by the mayor on Monday, the chief hopes to add 10 officers next year – beyond replacing those who leaving – and 30 in 2020. Councilmembers spent a significant amount of time grilling Best on staffing levels, saying they are hearing from constituents over and over again that the city doesn’t have enough police. The force currently numbers 1,457, she had said, “more deployable officers than it has ever had,” while acknowledging “we need more officers.” Recruiting, she said, is currently a big challenge.
Another number of note: The proposed SPD budget for next year is $363 million, a 10 percent increase, with most of the increase attributed to technology investments that have to be made next year.
SPD was the last department to present its budget overview in 2 days of presentations to the council. Councilmember Lisa Herbold‘s latest weekly update outlined where the process goes from here, including a public hearing at City Hall next Thursday (October 4th).