REDMOND, OR -- Redmond Police are hoping to hire two more officers; although, Lt. Curtis Chambers says funding for the positions has not yet been secured. "It has not been signed off by City Council, yet. It has made its way through the Budget Committee and is awaiting Council review and approval."
Lt. Chambers tells KBND News the request is in response to the city's growing population. "City of Redmond Police Department’s funding by the general fund, which means property taxes. So, as revenue increases, revenue for the police department also increases and helps pay for additional positions." But, the increase in people in Redmond also brings an increase in calls for service. And, he says even with two more officers, "We’re still not at a level that we were at pre-recession when we had 50 total employees. We’re sitting at 46 total employees, now, so we’re getting close to where we once were. The population of Redmond has grown dramatically, and is forecasted to continue as long as the economy stays going strong. We are at a tipping point up there at Redmond, right now, where we cannot continue with what we are doing now without more bodies."
The agency is looking for “lateral” officers who can hit the streets faster than rookies. "Lateral hires are great because they come to us already certified. We don’t have to pay to send them to the academy over in Salem, and lose them for 16 weeks." Lt. Chambers says because Central Oregon has a reputation as a desirable place to live, the department has already received a number of applications for the two new openings. If funding isn't approved, he says those applications will remain on file for future openings.
To hear our full conversation with Redmond Lt. Curtis Chambers click HERE or visit our Podcast Page.