Everett Passes 2022 Budget Of $761 Million – Adds 8 New Police Positions

Everett Police just added 8 more positions for 2022 and are undertaking a major effort to diversify the make-up of the Department.

Wednesday night the Everett City Council unanimously passed the budget for 2022 in the amount of $761,494,955.00.

In addition, 6 of 7 city councilmembers approved an amendment that added eight more uniform positions to the Everett Police Department with four of those being designated for the bicycle unit.

The amendment was proposed by Scott Murphy with a second by Scott Bader. The only no vote on the amendment was by Liz Vogeli who said she had various reasons, but that public safety means different things to different people and public safety doesn’t have to mean more police.

The majority of the money for the eight uniform police positions is coming from a COPS Grant that the City received last year. That grant was controversial at the time but was ultimately approved by the Council based on the flexibility in how it could be applied.

There was concern by City Council President Brenda Stonecipher that adding additional positions when the police department was having trouble filling the current vacancies would send the wrong message to the public. The difference in the amount covered by the grant and the balance of the expense will be covered by the carry-forward from vacant positions.

President Stonecipher asked Police Chief Dan Templeman how many vacancies the department had at this time and how many were expected looking into 2022? Templeman advised there are currently seventeen vacancies, and another ten officers are expected to leave next year. Adding in the eight authorized tonight that would leave thirty-five positions to fill in 2022.

Templeman said in the past several years Everett PD has filled between twelve and twenty-four positions a year, but they have increased the number of background investigators from two to ten and have received grants to target hiring a more diverse force. He said 36 percent of officers hired recently were female and 41 percent were people of color.

Mayor Franklin said she supported the additional number of officers and that is shows Everett, Washington is boldly hiring while other departments are not. She also noted that these positions are specifically targeted to be directed to community policing. She also said the administration would be very transparent in reporting on the department’s recruiting efforts.

Prior to the budget vote was the third and final public hearing and for the second year in a row no members of the public spoke up about any aspect of the budget. Liz Vogeli reminded the council that the budget was a living, fluid thing and that amendments and adjustments could and likely would be made after the first of the year to address concerns over staffing and neighborhood equity issues. Other Councilmembers expressed concerns over library hours and the failure to provide funds for the 4th of July parade.

It remains to be seen how the addition of four new city council members after the first of the year will shape spending in throughout 2022.


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