Public Safety and Leadership

Our fire and police personnel are second to none.

Few things affect our lives more than the quality and quantity of public safety resources. Our fire and police personnel are second to none. The quality, training and dedication of these men and women reflect great credit upon themselves and the leaders within their departments. However, with our rapidly growing city there are limits to what these professionals can do without the proper resources.

 
The U.S. Census Bureau has listed Clarksville as the fifth fastest growing city in the nation with a population of almost 143,000, as of July 2012. Clarksville is growing at a yearly rate of over 4% with a population increase of approximately 10,000 since the 2010 census. By July 2014, the city’s population could reach 155,000. Such growth should result in additional public safety resources, but it has not.

 

…the administration did not provide additional officers…

In my first council term (2007-2010), one of my goals was to properly staff our fire and police departments to meet the challenges of a growing city. The police department has established a staffing standard of 2 officers per 1000 citizens to meet law enforcement needs (national average is 2.2 officers; regional average is 2.5). The fire department wanted to meet suggested federal guidelines of four crew members per major fire fighting apparatus. By 2010 we had met the two officers per thousand goal and increased fire fighter positions closer to guidelines.

 

By 2012 it was evident our population was growing, but we were not adding police officers. This shortfall was fully recognized during the FY 2014 budget debate, but the administration did not provide additional officers or support my efforts to add these positions.

 

The city’s FY 2014 budget…a shortfall of 37 officers.

By July 2014, with a potential population of 155,000, our police department will require 310 officers to serve our city per the standard. The city’s FY 2014 budget provides for 273 officers, a shortfall of 37 officers. With continued population growth, and no additional police staffing, we could be looking at a shortfall of more than 50 officer positions in 2015.

 

Our fire rescue services have needed another station in the Exit 1 area for several years. However, while the new station should finally be built toward the end of FY 2014, this administration did not budget for any new firefighters to open the new station. This means approximately 15 fire rescue personnel will have to be pulled from other stations until budgeting, hiring and training of the crew can take place in FY 2015.

 

this administration did not budget for any new firefighters to open the new station.

In addition, another station has been needed in the Exit 8 area and now will be a requirement in 2016 based on the needs of the industrial park. This will further compound efforts to budget, hire and train needed fire rescue personnel in a timely manner.

 

Police requirements are based on population size. Fire Rescue primarily relies on response times and crew/equipment ratios to meet workload needs. We CAN forecast population growth and, in turn, plan ahead to meet the need for police officers and equipment. We CAN monitor fire rescue response times on a continuous basis and detect trends. If specific areas of town need additional coverage due to growth or development patterns, then future stations, personnel and equipment will go where the data indicates.

 

My administration will implement standards and specific plans concerning Public Safety with the expressed purpose of providing citizens the ability to measure success. Talk and “photo ops” are easy; planning and providing results on a timetable is much harder, but it can be done.

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Election Day 2018

From November 06th to November 06th