Kirkland is proposing an important measure to advance public safety services in the city. The measure contains several items that specifically address safety concerns we have heard from the community. One such proposal is the establishment of a police pro-act unit to help solve property crimes. A pro-act unit and the hiring of additional patrol officers were two of several important recommendations identified in our Police Strategic Plan, which guides investments to address the city’s long-term public safety needs.
Since 2010, Kirkland has added 34 police officers and $9.2 million in funding to the department in response to annexation and the continued growth of our city, but we continue to be unable to allocate enough dedicated, on-going funding to reconstitute the pro-act unit that we had to eliminate during the Great Recession. Kirkland’s Proposition 1 will provide that funding.
With most of our on-duty police officers dedicated to responding to 911 calls in a reactive manner and our small detective squad focused on important person crimes, there is little additional time or resources to focus on property crimes. At the same time, largely due to the growing opioid epidemic, property crimes like home burglaries, vehicle break-ins, shoplifting, mail theft and identity theft are on the rise throughout our region. A proactive (pro-act) police unit will be able to focus on trends or commonalities in property crimes and provide the needed capabilities to begin a community-focused preventive policing program, while also coordinating with other jurisdictions to investigate regional rings of property thieves that travel from one city to the next.
Given the increasing need to address property crimes and the outstanding success of the previous pro-act unit, we believe that Kirkland’s Proposition 1 is fundamental to maintaining the quality of life for our city’s residents and ensures that our community invests wisely in enhancing our public safety services.
Please vote for yes on Kirkland’s Proposition 1 on your November ballot.
Penny Sweet, Toby Nixon, Jon Pascal
City of Kirkland Council Public Safety Committee
Letter submitted using no city resources