The most important function of a city is protecting the public. Police and fire are the first responders. We have wonderful police and fire departments being stretched too far. We must hire more people in these two departments to fully protect the public and the safety of those charged with protecting us.
Working long shifts with little to no time off fills the hours. We need to fill positions, not just hours.
More police on the streets equals more prevented crime. More police on the streets mean better response, not just to emergencies, but to those smaller crimes adversely impacting our quality of life.
More fire personnel result in the ability to cover more of the public needs. It also means the fire department can help prevent fires and emergency situations thru inspections and interaction with the public.
How can we put more fire and police on the streets?
Convert overtime to people. Paying over 50% more to work the same number of hours fills hours with not only a dollar cost to the public, but at a cost to those working – physically and emotionally.
Overtime is for short-term staffing shortfalls, not a 10-year staffing model.
When we spend between $3 million to $6 million yearly (depending on the source of the report) on overtime we can hire people, improve services and protect our community while reducing costs.