Our community values safe and welcoming neighborhoods. Whether it’s in downtown, in your neighborhood, or on the Fanno Creek Trail, safety is essential to your quality of life. You conveyed this message during recent conversations about a ballot measure to fund 10 additional police officers.
The City Council is proposing a local option levy to meet your desire for a safe and secure Tigard at the lowest cost possible. The council is currently considering a levy that would cost the average Tigard homeowner 25 cents a day.
I want to highlight a few characteristics of what a safe and secure Tigard could mean to you.
A safe and secure Tigard has a police department that can handle multiple emergencies at the same time. We are at a critical time within the Tigard Police Department. As our city has grown, our police resources have not. The result: Tigard Police resources are at capacity. When three officers are minimum staffing, it means our city can safely handle only one major incident. This is unacceptable in 2019 with a city population of 54,000.
A safe and secure Tigard ensures new neighborhoods, old neighborhoods, and everything in between are connected to their police department. Policing is more than just a patrol-car response to a 911 call, it’s about building relationships. When officers are out of their cars and interacting with the community, they develop rapports with community members to better address issues and concerns in the future.
A safe and secure Tigard equips officers with de-escalation strategies for those suffering from mental illnesses. Mental illness in Tigard does not discriminate. Individuals from all backgrounds and of all economic means are affected. Every Tigard police officer must be trained to recognize the signs and symptoms of mental illness, and to respond safely and appropriately to individuals in crisis.
A safe and secure Tigard allocates resources to connect the homeless with services. Homelessness is a critical issue affecting everyone in our community — residents, homeowners, business owners, and visitors. Our police need the resources to provide short-term options while also connecting the homeless to permanent solutions. To accomplish this, officers need the time to interact with the homeless, identify solutions, and link them to community resources.
I ask you to consider whether this vision for a safe and secure Tigard aligns with your values and those of our community.
You can share your thoughts in person at my next Fireside Chat on Thursday, Dec. 5, 6:30 p.m. at Symposium Coffee (12345 SW Main St, Tigard), In addition, I can be reached directly at email@example.com.