Mayor’s Corner: October 2023

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Everyone has the right to feel safe in Tigard.  

We have heard over and over from community – families, small business owners, and workers – that public safety should be a core priority for the City Council. Over the summer, we launched a community survey (tinyurl.com/4jxpw6xy), and you said safety was your top priority. 

City Council agrees, one of our Council Goals is to Enhance Community Safety and Accessibility. As a Council and community, we’ve been talking a lot about our public safety services and the importance of maintaining our current investments in those services. We’re committed to creating a safer Tigard, and renewal of the Public Safety Levy will continue to help us do that.

Back in 2020, Tigard voters approved a City of Tigard plan for dedicated funding for public safety and additional de-escalation training. With that in place, Tigard has had resources we need to hire more Tigard Police Department patrol officers, a School Resource Officer, complete advanced training, and provide support. 

That’s been especially important as Tigard police calls continue to grow. In 2022, the Tigard Police Department saw 1,000 more calls for service compared to 2021. Many of these are increasingly complex calls, requiring several officers to spend significant time to resolve the issue.

The original Local Option Levy that was approved in 2020 is set to expire. In May 2024, the City of Tigard will ask our community to help preserve our investments in public safety and maintain emergency police response services through the Public Safety Renewal Levy.

If approved, it would preserve dedicated funding for training and personnel who provide essential services and respond to community priorities about public safety. That includes:

Continuing de-escalation and crisis intervention training for Tigard officers

Keeping eight patrol officers so we can maintain existing emergency police response services in Tigard

Maintain one School Resource Officer for school support

Renewing our public safety investments would continue the same tax rate that’s already in place, not increase it. The average homeowner would contribute less than $8 per month. We are asking you to continue the investments that are in place today.

So what’s next? Over the coming months, we will be talking with people across our community about our proposal, what these investments deliver for you, and to get your feedback. The City Council will continue to discuss the plan as we look toward a public vote in May 2024.

This is an important opportunity for us to continue to build community safety and meet the needs of our growing city. Want to learn more? Visit www.tigard-or.gov/home

You can always reach me at 971-435-0964 or heidil@tigard-or.gov, or you can connect to the whole City Council at CouncilMail@tigard-or.gov

Thank you for the chance to serve you as Mayor and to work to build safer, more accessible communities for everyone.

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