The City of Mesa is doubling down on its commitment to prioritize public safety by adding 81 Mesa Fire and Medical and 117 Mesa Police full-time personnel with the voter-approved Public Safety Sales Tax. The new positions exceed the 2018 forecast of 45 and 65 new hires, respectively.
"Mesa is delivering more, sooner. We accelerated the hiring process and increased the number of new positions for our fire and police departments," said Mesa City Manager Chris Brady. "In addition to the 2018 voter-approved Public Safety Sales Tax increase, the City of Mesa is using general and other funds to ensure our Fire and Medical and Police departments are keeping up with the demand and maintaining our community's safety."
Representatives from the City's Office of Management and Budget, the Mesa Fire and Medical Department and the Mesa Police Department briefed the Mesa City Council today on the City's efforts to maintain a high level of service for emergency response through investment in public safety. Mesa Fire and Medical budget has averaged 15% annual growth, while Mesa Police funding has grown by a yearly average of 7%.
"The growth in our population prompted an increase in emergency service calls. The Mayor and Council are providing the Mesa Fire and Medical Department with the funding and resources to adjust our staffing levels to better serve and meet the needs of our community," said Mesa Fire and Medical Chief Mary Cameli. "We have been tracking growth trends for years and funding increases to our department are a testament to the City's focus on public safety."
The new Mesa Fire and Medical Department positions will staff a new fire station, train and support personnel and deliver a more agile and efficient response throughout the City. Mesa also forecasts the agency will add another 36 positions over the next five years. New Mesa Police hires include patrol and operations officers, field support staff, planning and administration, and an advanced training squad.
"Keeping our communities safe is a key priority of the City Council. Today's presentation highlights the City's commitment to ensuring that we have the personnel, training and resources to ensure Mesa is a safe place to live and raise a family," said Mesa Mayor John Giles.
Mesa is also making significant investments in training and operations to ensure public safety agencies and their officers have the necessary tools, resources, and continuous training to maintain a high level of performance. The City has already replaced communication dispatch emergency base stations, radios and purchased new vehicles. One-time projects in the works include:
$1.9M - Support of additional recruitment academies
$735K - Volunteer center remodel to house Battalion 204
$362K - Training facility locker and bathroom remodel (supplement to Capital General funding)
$1.3M - Support of additional recruitment academies and upgrades
$1.26M - Helicopter mapping and camera system
$1M - Command van
$2-4M - Evidence facility (supplement to Public Safety Bond funding)
"Modern-day criminals are utilizing technology more and more to harm our community. Knowing that, the Mesa Police Department needs to fight crime smarter," said Mesa Police Chief Ken Cost. "In addition to hiring more personnel, we are obtaining advanced technology and training our police officers on investigating crime more efficiently. New technology helps us stay one step ahead of criminals. With the strong support from our community, City Council and City leadership, and the resources provided to our police officers, we are keeping our communities safe."
Earlier this year, anindependent surveyconducted by Arizona State University's Morrison Institute for Public Policy revealed that overall satisfaction with public safety in Mesa is very good (68.3%).
Contact: Ana Pereira