Fresno Mayor Lee Brand said 21 additional police officers will be hired under his first proposed city budget, restoring cop slots lost in the recession.
Brand also wants the city to expand its ShotSpotter system from six square miles to nine.
“We know it works and it probably saved lives,” he said, referring to the shooting rampage of April 19 in which three people died. Because the system alerted police to the gunfire, response to the scene was swift and resulted in the arrest of the accused shooter, Kori Ali Muhammad.
The city will also build a new police substation in southeast Fresno, he said.
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Brand offered up the public safety proposals Tuesday at City Hall while announcing a proposed $1.1 billion budget for fiscal year 2018.
It is Brand’s first budget since being elected mayor last year. More private sector jobs, such as those created by Ulta and large e-commerce centers the city is courting, will fuel city revenues, he said.
We know it works and it probably saved lives.
Fresno Mayor Lee Brand, referring to the ShotSpotter system
Adding 21 officers would cost the city about $938,800 the first year and bring the police department closer to where it was before the recession.
“This increase in sworn staffing to 825 (officers) will be the highest staffing level in nearly 10 years,” Brand said.
Nine of the 21 officers would be assigned to the Fresno FAX bus system. The transportation enterprise fund would cover those costs.
The police substation would cost $6.2 million and would be mostly funded from savings when the city refinanced debt in April, the proposed budget states.
Police Chief Jerry Dyer said the department dropped from 849 cops to fewer than 700 in the recession.
“Getting to 825 will certainly be significant progress,” he said.
The ShotSpotter expansion would cost $268,000.
The Fresno City Council must vote on a new budget by June 30.