REDMOND, OR -- A budget proposal for the city of Redmond is due to be released Wednesday, and it could recommend more money for public safety. Lt. Curtis Chambers say Redmond Police needs to hire more officers. "The Redmond Police Department can justify the need for eight additional police officers, based on how quickly the city is growing and how busy our officers currently are."
Last fall, City Council discussed imposing a $6 monthly utility fee to help pay for hiring six officers. But, after months of public meetings, the idea was shelved. "In February, City Council said they were going to prioritize public safety in the upcoming budget year," Lt. Chambers tells KBND News, "We will find out this week what that potentially means. One or two Councilors at that meeting back in February did state that they hoped to see as many as three officers funded through existing revenue sources."
He acknowledges more money for police will likely mean cuts to other departments that also rely on the general fund, "With increasing funding for the police department, we know that’s going to come at a cost for other city departments – parks or transportation." Lt. Chambers adds, "We are aware that whatever increase that we may receive, if granted by the Budget Committee and adopted by City Council later in May and into June, is going to come at a cost because there is no additional revenue source, at this time."
Once the proposed budget is made public, the Budget Committee will review it and work to finalize it through a series of meetings, beginning April 24, prior to Council approval. City Councilors have also discussed asking voters whether they would support a public safety fee on their monthly utility bill; that referendum could appear on the November ballot.
to listen to our full conversation with Redmond Police Lt. Curtis Chambers.