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Budget gives St. Paul Police big boost

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  • Budget gives St. Paul Police big boost

    Budget gives police big boost
    Mayor's proposal would add 25 officers, three firefighters
    BY MARA H. GOTTFRIED
    Pioneer Press

    The 25 additional police officers and three extra firefighters in the St. Paul mayor's 2006 budget proposal could mean an increased focus on fighting drugs, domestic violence and gangs, along with improved firefighter safety, said police and fire officials on Friday.

    Mayor Randy Kelly's budget proposal, unveiled Thursday, calls for a 3 percent tax increase to pay for beefed-up public safety personnel. The budget is subject to City Council approval.

    If the budget moves forward as proposed, the St. Paul Police Department's authorized strength would rise from 565 officers to 590, which appears to be a high, said police spokesman Paul Schnell.

    "The focus is clearly going to be those areas that are posing some of the biggest problems," he said. "One benefit will be as we monitor the development of problems occurring, we can be in a position to mobilize people to respond much more quickly without jeopardizing the overall operation."

    Serious crime rose 6.2 percent in St. Paul during the first half of 2005, compared with the same period last year. Police believe some of the spike can be attributed to increased problems with family violence, gangs and methamphetamine.

    Kelly called the tax levy a down payment on a "public safety plan" that would lead to a total of 100 more police officers and 20 additional firefighters by 2010.

    Former City Council Member Chris Coleman, Kelly's chief opponent in his bid for re-election, said firefighter numbers need to be boosted more, and the department should have an overtime budget. The number of new police officers seems adequate, Coleman said, but Kelly is proposing them "a day late and a dollar short."

    Many urban police departments, including St. Paul, believe there should be 2.2 police officers per 1,000 residents, said David Titus, St. Paul Police Federation president. The additional officers should help the city get closer to that benchmark, he said.

    Police administrators are just beginning to develop plans for how to best use the additional officers, Schnell said.

    Jun-Li Wang, Hamline-Midway Coalition community organizer, hopes the department considers increasing the number of beat officers. The neighborhood used to have two

  • #2
    I was going to make a snyde comment about Kelly bringing over another 20,000 immigrants instead of hiring more cops but.....

    Comment


    • #3
      That was subtle...

      lol
      Oh... Oh... I know you di-int!

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by InSane1
        That was subtle...

        lol
        Subtlety is my middle name. I am like a ninja in the night I am so subtle

        Comment

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