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This evening, the Temecula City Council voted unanimously to increase the number of sworn police officers for the City of Temecula by a total of 11 positions.
Mayor Maryann Edwards stated, “The hiring of additional law enforcement officers in Temecula is the direct result of Measure S and our City’s commitment to preserving the highest levels of public safety.” Media sources frequently rank Temecula as being among the safest cities in the nation including “The 20 Safest Cities in the US," published by AOL.com on July 14, 2016, http://www.aol.com/article/2016/07/14/the-20-safest-cities-in-the-us/21432362/, based on information including data from the FBI and U.S. Census. Mayor Edwards added, “The citizens made it clear by their vote to pass Measure S that maintaining low crime rates and safe neighborhoods are top priorities for Temecula, and we are pleased to immediately implement a noticeable increase in sworn officers.”
Measure S was approved by the voters on November 8, 2016 and will be enacted on April 1, 2017. Voters approved the Measure to increase sales tax by one cent on the dollar in order to maintain 9 1 1 emergency response times, prevent cuts to local paramedic services, add police and fire protection; provide youth, senior and disabled services among numerous other traffic/freeway improvements and other infrastructure and services to ensure that the City maintains its high quality of life.
The City currently employs 100 sworn police officers. Measure S funds will allow the City to hire 10 officers in order to provide one officer for every 1,000 residents; a desired goal in the City’s General Plan. The 11th officer, funded by Pechanga, will be hired this month pursuant to the Intergovernmental Agreement which stipulates the Tribe will pay for one officer assigned to the City due to the expansion of the Pechanga Resort and Casino. This officer will be dedicated to the southern portion of Temecula. Additional positions will be filled on April 1, 2017 to coincide with the initiation of Measure S revenue collections. Positions will include; 1 Special Enforcement Team Officer, 2 Motorcycle Officers, 1 Accident Investigator, 4 Patrol Officers (which will increase the coverage from 180 to 200 hours per day) and the addition of 2 Problem-Oriented Policing Team/Homeless Outreach Team Officers.
The estimated annual cost of 10 police officers is $3,080,455. The addition of the 10 officers on April 1, 2017 will create a $895,114 increase to the Fiscal Year 2016-17 operating budget and will cover the cost of salaries, equipment, two new motorcycles plus uniforms and training. It is anticipated that Measure S revenue generated from April 1, 2017- June 30, 2017 will be approximately $5.75 million. Addressing law enforcement needs is the first phase to appropriating Measure S funding for this Fiscal Year. The City will continue the conversation at the upcoming mid-year budget workshop scheduled later this month at which time the City Council will provide additional direction on other high priority needs that include deferred maintenance to streets, facilities, parks and playgrounds.