REDMOND, OR -- Redmond Police are trying to rally support for a proposal that could increase staffing. Lt. Curtis Chambers says the idea of a public safety fee to help fund the hiring of more officers is not unique. "There’s 11 other municipalities across the state that have a fee in place on a utility bill that comes to every residence or business, every month," Gresham and Medford are among those cities with such a fee. "And, on that bill would be, if passed by City Council, a $6 fee to specifically fund police officers out on the roads of the city of Redmond."
Lt. Chambers tells KBND News property taxes are no longer enough, "Revenue is not keeping up with demand. The city of Redmond budget, for the last five years, has remained flat and costs continue to increase. Redmond is growing; there are more houses coming on to the tax rolls, each and every year. But, the amount of revenue that the city receives from those property taxes every year is not keeping up with the cost of services. property tax revenues are not keeping pace with the need to increase the number of officers on patrol." He adds, "We would like to bring on six; we could justify bringing on eight more. It would be slightly over $800,000 for six officers; $1.2 million for eight officers."
The department will meet with citizens and get feedback from surveys at various events before reporting back to Council in late December or January. He expects Council wouldn't vote on a proposal until January, at the earliest. "If the City Council passed that, it would be March before we would see it on any utility bills and we would begin the hiring process soon thereafter."
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