As I engage with the residents of our city, one of the most frequently asked questions pertains to whether the City of Auburn has reduced funding for its police department.
I want to reassure everyone that the City of Auburn has not defunded, nor does it have any plans to defund, the police department in the foreseeable future.
In fact, our city council has taken proactive steps to bolster the police department’s resources. Currently, the Auburn Police Department receives a significant portion of the city’s annual operating budget, accounting for 36.7% of the total budget.
On August 2nd, 2021, I proposed a motion that led to the ordinance authorizing the Auburn Police Department to acquire body cameras and formulate comprehensive body-worn camera policies, with input from the police advisory committee.
Resolution 5624 was passed unanimously by the City Council on October 18th, 2021. This resolution empowered the Mayor to enter into a contract for the purchase of body-worn cameras and new Tasers for the police department. The total cost of this equipment is estimated at $2.2 million, to be spread over a 60-month period.
Additionally, on November 22, 2022, Ordinance 6837 was enacted, increasing the 2022 budget by allocating $479,200. This funding allows us to hire four full-time employees who will play a crucial role in supporting the Auburn Police Department’s new body camera program.
In the course of our 2023-2024 Biennial Budget deliberations, the incumbent council has given its approval for the introduction of designated vehicles for Patrol Officers within the Auburn Police Department. This initiative encompasses a comprehensive 6-year implementation plan, aimed at acquiring an additional 49 patrol vehicles that will be individually assigned to officers, complete with spare units. This strategic move is poised to significantly enhance various aspects of law enforcement, including response time for crime scenes, de-escalation negotiations, staffing requirements, and more.
Our commitment to the Auburn Police Department extends beyond financial support. We are actively exploring ways to enhance their capabilities, including enabling officers to take their police vehicles home. This initiative will enable them to respond to emergencies more swiftly, ensuring the safety and security of our community.
My name Is James Jeyaraj, your re-election choice for Auburn City Council Pos 3.
More info here:
- https://weblink.auburnwa.gov/External/ElectronicFile.aspx?dbid=0&openfile=true&docid=522188 (Our current budget summary for 2023 is $417,051,908)
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