Public Safety is one of the most sacred and vital responsibilities of municipal government. I fully support our police department as they have made some significant improvements recently.
I am pleased with the additional Community Resource Officers that were hired recently. CRO's are the front lines of connecting those at risk with appropriate services, and as a city, we support efforts to address causality, and not make arrests for nonviolent actions.
In Tempe, we are faced with incredibly unique challenges including being the home of one of the largest university campuses in the country, a popular events location, 5 arterial freeways, multiple public transit options, and on the border and in the flight path of an international airport. We have had some unfortunate and deplorable police actions in recent years, and I am so thankful we have a dynamic new Police Chief in Sylvia Moir.
After a long history of challenges, our Tempe PD has a difficult path ahead. I would welcome strict competencies and performance metrics with incentives in place to reward outstanding officers and manage out underperformers. This is critical to any City department, but with the eroding trust in PD's across the country combined with Tempe's extremely high rate of Part 1 crimes, per-resident spend, and unsolved cases, drastic improvements should be supported by Council.
I would welcome proposals for additional resources and training to ensure non-discrimination by our first responders. I also welcome constructive community feedback or suggestions. Our first responders are put through unbelievable amounts of stress and danger, and it is our duty to ensure they have the resources they need to do their jobs. This includes regular and formal meetings between jurisdictions to enhance collaboration and ensure there are no gaps in public safety.
I’m a big fan of using technology to solve moddern problems. Body cameras are a good way to hold all parties accountable, but they must be secure and they must have procedural safeties in place. Another issue is the scope and cost of storage of the data and the proper protocol for long-term data storage. I’ll welcome budget proposals and enjoy exploring innovative new ideas if elected.