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The original item was published from 3/15/2011 11:43:48 AM to 4/7/2011 12:05:00 AM.

News Flash

City News and Announcements

Posted on: March 15, 2011

[ARCHIVED] Public Safety Sales Tax Initiative

The City of Blue Springs takes great pride in the quality of Public Safety services provided to residents and businesses.

In May 2009, the Mayor and City Council re-established the Public Safety Citizen’s Advisory Board based on feedback from citizens. This Board was charged with providing both short and long term recommendations regarding public safety in Blue Springs. In September 2010, the City Council asked the Board to provide an assessment and recommendations for law enforcement needs in Blue Springs.

The Public Safety Citizen’s Advisory Board analysis showed the following:

* Outdated primary/emergency radio communications system that is not compliant with the unfunded 2013 Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Narrowbanding Mandate that requires compliance by January 1, 2013.

* Current radio system is over 20 years old, replacement parts are hard to locate and officers cannot directly communicate with other emergency responders

* Increase in calls requiring multiple officers

* Increased number of times when all officers are committed and unavailable to respond to calls

* Current staffing is below the regional average for full time officers per thousand residents

* An outdated and space deficient facility for current and future public safety requirements.


Public Safety Citizen’s Advisory Board recommendation

In November 2010, the Board recommended a dedicated Public Safety Sales Tax to address the needs found in their assessment. The board reviewed the City’s existing sales tax rate, best practices of other metro cities and capital and operating needs before giving this recommendation.


If approved by voters on April 5, this dedicated Public Safety Sales Tax will provide:

Equipment

* Digital Radio/Communications System
* Patrol Cars for Proposed New Officers
* Replacement of Patrol Car Cameras

This new equipment will:

* Replace the 20+ year old radio system to comply with unfunded 2013 FCC mandate
* Provide officers with a system that allows them to communicate direclty with area emergency responders
* Make radio coverage comprehensive City-wide.

Personnel

* 7 New Patrol Officers
* 2 New Street Crime Officers
* 4 Detention Staff
* 1 Assistant/Deputy Chief
* 1 Animal Control Officer
* 1 Radio/Communications System Specialist
* 1 Evidence Property Custodian

This new personnel will:

* Effect response times to emergency and non-emergency calls
* Provide more on-duty officers in neighborhoods and retail locations around the clock
* Provide more hours to animal control and evidence

Facilities

* Renovate and Enlarge the Public Safety Building Built in 1987

This facility renovation and expansion will:

* Add space for detention, dispatch, evidence retention and a temporary animal control holding area.

Oversight

If passed, revenues from the public safety sales tax will only be used for public safety purposes. The tax cannot be used for other General Fund programs or services.

The Public Safety Advisory Board, made up of Blue Springs citizens, is charged with oversight of the tax. The Advisory Board will make regularly scheduled reports to the City Council on spending of funds collected by the tax and report on performance goals.

Additional Info...
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