CLOVIS, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – The Clovis City Council hosted a workshop to discuss options for addressing a shortage in the police force.
This comes after a citizen advisory board was formed in January to research the need for more safety in the community.
After two and a half hours of back and forth discussion the council made no decision Monday night but they did agree on adding more officers to the force.
“Yes we want more officers, I don’t want to use the reserve, I don’t know if I support a tax measure right today,” said one of the city council members.
City council went over a lengthy proposal trying to decide how to fund the addition of more officers.
“If it was a perfect world and the chief could hire them tomorrow, the year one cost would be an estimated $20 million and the ongoing cost would be approximately $13 million” added the Clovis city manager.
But hours of discussion between councilmembers, the police chief, and those of the citizen advisory board; questioning how soon they can get the ball rolling. They’re finding it hard to get a tax measure passed to get on November’s ballot.
“There obviously is concerns, I have the same concerns as a citizen you know asking for any additional right now in uncertain times is a difficult call to make,” said Chief Curt Fleming.
“This one two three and four years down the road is really where we’re going to see the impacts and you know having to wait two years is not the most ideal thing” added former police Chief Matthew Basgall.
There were talks about what type of tax they could pass, including general tax, special tax, occupancy tax, and revisiting what happened back in 2009 saying the economy years down the road could affect any decisions made now.
“That’s gonna be a big struggle because there is such an urgency to do something,” said Fleming.
Overall the council says they need more time to make a decision, and that they might have to wait until next year to get voters involved.