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    Colonna, Baker, Lerch Seek Police Personnel Strategy w/ Benchmark Goals For Hiring, Compensation & Benefits

    (June 10, 2005) -- Councilmembers Frank Colonna, Dan Baker and Val Lerch have agendized an item for the June 14 City Council meeting that asks the City Manager to present the Council with a "Police Personnel Strategy that could benchmark goals for hiring, compensation and benefits within 45 days."

    In their agendizing memo, the Councilmembers write:

    As we strategize on how to best deal with threats of terrorism and gang violence in our city, we continue to stretch our local police force.

    It is clear that we must increase the number of police officers on our streets, and provide competitive compensation and benefits so we can continue to attract the best and the brightest men and women to our police department.

    It is estimated that the city needs anywhere from 200-300 more uniformed officers to adequately patrol the city. While the numbers vary and change, our police chief has indicated that the numbers could be as high as 300.

    As we work toward resolving our structural deficit problems, we cannot defer or postpone an aggressive agenda to provide more police officers to our existing force.

    Increasing our police force should be the City Council's top priority. As we enter our budget planning process, we should begin by establishing a Police Personnel Strategy.

    This initiative can establish exactly how many new incoming officers we need to hire and earmark new incoming resources towards adding more personnel to our future police academy classes.

    The Police Personnel Strategy can serve as a multi-year plan that sets benchmarks and goals for hiring, compensation and benefits. It could be modeled after our three-year budget plan.

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