The police and fire departments are up next in the City Council’s review of city services.
The council will talk about staffing, budgets and other public safety issues at a workshop Tuesday, one of several scheduled by Mayor Gary Soiseth for the start of his term. Water and roads are done, and other topics will follow into April.
Turlock did not fare as badly as many cities as tax revenue slowed in the economic downturn of recent years, but it did trim some police and fire operations. The staff provided highlights in the agenda materials for the workshop:
▪ The Police Department peaked at 86 sworn officer positions in 2009, then dropped to 74 in 2012 and rose to 78 in 2014. The goal is to get back to 86.
▪ Non-sworn police employees stood at 36 last year, down from a high of 46 in 2008. The goal is 47, including people in dispatch, records and animal services.
▪ Turlock is no longer part of multi-agency efforts on gangs and auto theft because of reduced staffing, but it does plan to revive its Street Crimes Unit.
▪ Officers have to deal with people released under California’s “realignment,” which shifted some offenders from state to local oversight.
▪ Fire Department calls rose from 4,943 in 2010 to 6,160 in 2014. About two-thirds are medical calls. The remainder are fires, other emergencies and false alarms.
▪ The department has three employees for each engine, less than the four recommended by the National Fire Protection Association.
▪ The average response time rose from 4 minutes, 58 seconds in 2009 to 5 minutes, 5 seconds in 2011, then dropped to 5 minutes flat in 2013.
The workshop also will review the city’s Neighborhood Services unit, which deals with graffiti, overgrown weeds, abandoned shopping carts and other nuisances.
Bee staff writer John Holland can be reached at email@example.com or (209) 578-2385.
AT A GLANCE
What: Turlock City Council workshop on police and fire needs
When: 6 p.m. Tuesday
Where: City Hall, 156 S. Broadway