Everett City Council Declines To Accept Federal Grant For Up To 16 New Police Officers

Council

The Everett City Council and Mayor Franklin..

Last night a motion in front of the Everett City Council to approve acceptance of a Federal grant for six million dollars to fund salaries and benefits for up to 16 new Everett Police officers did not advance to a vote after a motion to approve submitted by councilmember Scott Bader failed to get a second.

The grant would have covered three years salary and benefits for officers used for uniformed patrol including bicycle patrols, traffic safety and neighborhood safety issues. Approving the motion would not have required the city to hire any or all of the 16 officers. In remarks during the briefing to council last week Everett Police Chief Dan Templeman told the council that it gives the city maximum flexibility.

Above the Federal grant, the City would have to pay costs for the officers for an additional 12 months after three years of grant funding and also cover patrol cars, equipment, etc.

You can click the link below to see the City Council Cover Sheet and COPS Grant information.

Everett PD COPS Grant Award

The overall reasoning during the discussions by the council after there was no second to vote on the grant approval seemed to be concerns over the impact of the costs to the City of Everett over and above what the Federal COPS Grant would pay.

While councilmember Bader moved for the adoption of the motion here is in part what other councilmembers mentioned.

Scott Murphy: My concern is timing. We may be writing a check we might not be able to cash.

Paul Roberts: My concern is of the bow wave effect will be on the budget.

Liz Vogeli: I can’t spend more money on hiring more folks, putting more guns out there on the streets.

Brenda Stonecipher: The two police officers per one thousand residents is not really relevant anymore the way we are policing. We need to do an operational assessment.

Judy Tuohy: The timing on this is such a huge challenge and I struggle with spending any additional money until we see what happens with Boeing.

Councilmember Jeff Moore left the meeting before the issue was brought up for consideration

You can see the council discussion at this link on Everett TV. Scroll down to item 14.

Today we reached out to Everett Mayor Cassie Franklin regarding the City Council decision last night and received the following response by email.

I’m disappointed our City Council didn’t support the City receiving these federal funds. I believe Everett has one of the most progressive, innovative police departments in the country. And with public safety being a top priority for Everett residents these funds would have supported hiring up to 16 new officers over the next three years. The growth of our police force has not kept pace with the growth of our City’s population, and we have a real need for more resources to address safety and build relationships in our community. The officers would have filled the kind of roles that community members are asking for – such as bicycle officers, motorcycle/traffic officers and community police. That said, I remain committed to increases in public safety over time and will work collaboratively with our City Council to achieve that goal.

We also reached out to Everett Police Chief Dan Templeman for his reaction and explanation of the current status of staffing in the Everett Police Department. Here are his responses via email.

“Obviously, I am disappointed in the City Council’s action to not accept the more than $6 million dollars in federal grant money. As has been stated, these critical funds would have been used to improve officer response times by adding resources to our patrol division, bolster safety on our city streets with additional investments in our Traffic Safety Unit and would have more than doubled the size of our bicycle unit, enhancing our community policing efforts. Although the deadline to accept the grant is not until September 8th, I am disappointed with yesterday’s Council decision to not accept the award.”

We asked his thoughts on other plans to pursue future grants?

“At this point, unless something changes, the Council has spoken. The police department has no plans to pursue any new grants or expand our existing programs at any time in the near future.”

Over the past several years the Everett Police Department has struggled to meet currently funded staffing levels so we asked Chief Templeman the following staffing questions.

1) What is the current level of staffing for the police department? (current number of vacancies and current authorized staffing levels)

Current number of vacancies: 13 (This number is subject to change as we continue the background/hiring process and have retirements.)


Current authorized staffing level: 206

2) Is Everett seeing an increase in applications from experienced officers and is the bonus program for experienced officers still in effect and what is the current level of that bonus?

We are currently seeing an increase in lateral applications of experienced officers from outside agencies. At this time, the bonus program remains in effect: You can see the details of that program here.

Also today the Everett Police Officers Association posted the Following on their Facebook Feed.

The Everett Police Officers Association would like to thank Mayor Cassie Franklin for her hard work and efforts to ensure PUBLIC SAFETY in the City of Everett. Mayor Cassie Franklin worked extremely hard personally in Washington DC lobbying for grants for the City of Everett.

Everett was a awarded a COPS grant that would fund more police officers for the City of Everett.

Everett was one of only 12 Cities in Washington State to receive the grant. The City of Everett was awarded $6,054,160 (over 6 MILLION) to help pay for an additional 16 police officers. During our current budget crisis; this is a HUGE benefit to our city.

Unfortunately, at the city council meeting on 8/26/2020 the agenda item to adopt and accept the grant did not receive a 2nd motion to move forward for discussion and a vote. Therefore it is highly likely the city will not see this money for public safety.

City Council we hear you loud and clear.

Editor’s Note: At their weekly meeting next Wednesday September 2nd the City Council will be holding a council workshop to look at options for balancing the 2021 budget.



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My Everett News is a hyperlocal news website featuring breaking news and events in Everett, WA. We also cover City of Everett information and items of interest to those who live and work in Everett. It's written by Leland Dart a former Snohomish County based radio reporter born and raised in Everett.

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