From the City Manager's budget message:
Maintaining adequately staffed and trained police and fire departments, including neighborhood patrols, crime-prevention programs, and emergency personnel, is vital to protecting Roseville’s quality of life and maintaining rapid emergency and medical response times. This priority is reflected in the budget, where public safety expenditures represents 69 percent of total revenues from sales and property taxes—the primary source of funding for public safety. To ensure the City maintains adequate police staffing, this year’s budget includes the addition of a patrol officer to enhance coverage on the west side of town.
Low Crime Rates and Community Policing
Even with a population increase of 9 percent since 2010, Roseville maintains one of the lowest per capita crime rates for many types of crime compared to other cities. While Roseville’s crime rate, for both violent and property crimes, has been falling for the past 10 years, it increased in 2015, though still lower than our five-year average. The City’s rate of property crime runs above the state average due to its large retail sector and the City’s position as a relatively affluent community with a low fear of crime, adjacent to higher-crime communities.
The Police Department is committed to the principles of community-oriented policing, using partnerships and problem-solving techniques to proactively address the immediate conditions that give rise to public safety issues such as crime, social disorder, and fear of crime. Rather than simply responding to crimes once they have been committed, community policing concentrates on preventing crime and eliminating the atmosphere of fear it creates. Earning the trust of the community and asking residents and businesses to be stakeholders in their own safety enables law enforcement to better understand and address both the needs of the community and the factors that contribute to crime.
In addition to patrol, the department provides a wide range of services, including criminal investigations, vice and narcotics investigations, crime suppression, traffic enforcement, youth service officers in the schools, animal control, social services and youth intervention services in partnership with the Roseville Police Activities League.
Police Staffing Analysis for a Changing Environment
With the economy recovering, the City is growing. The City reached full-staffing of sworn personnel for the first time in five years, reflecting City Council’s prioritization of this goal. The Police Department is maintaining staffing through effective and efficient hiring programs for laterals and entry level positions – both for sworn and professional staff. The City’s focus is on reducing crime to ensure Roseville maintains safe neighborhoods and business districts.
Growth brings the challenge of maintaining a high level of service for a larger population and other issues that come with being a larger city. Those include maintaining adequate staffing levels to provide good response times and to be proactive in preventing crimes and disorder. A staffing analysis being completed by an outside consultant is currently underway to examine staffing needs. Set against the backdrop of the amount and type of growth projected for the City, the analysis also will factor in law enforcement trends and state actions. These include AB109, which reduced the prison population by not incarcerating offenders or releasing them early with either no mandated supervision or only local community supervision; and Proposition 47, which reduced several former felony crimes to misdemeanors and changes the options available to law enforcement officers to address crimes like shoplifting, stolen property, drug possession, and theft.
Building Trust in our Community
The Police Department is focused on continuing to build trust in our community. The department held its first daytime Citizens Academy to ensure it is serving all segments of our community. It was well attended and the department will be holding one daytime and one nighttime academy each year. The department also plans to implement a body camera system for operations personnel this coming year to build trust in our community and assure our residents and visitors that the Police Department is accountable. Although funding for body cameras is not included in this year’s budget, the City is looking for funding opportunities for this initiative.
Transitioning of the Jail
With the jail closing this past year, three employees were transitioned to other assignments that were needed within the department to serve our community. There were no layoffs. The Police Department will transition the vacated jail area to a new, much-needed workspace area for detectives and storage for property and evidence.
Fire Response Times and Service Levels
Fire stations are located strategically throughout the community in order to place resources within acceptable response distance to the areas that the assigned resources are expected to serve. Response time is one of the most important measurements of fire department performance. Response times and resources are evaluated on a regular basis to ensure that the Fire Department is providing the most efficient and effective services to the community.
As the population and travel times within our response districts increase, the need has been identified for a ninth fire station in the next five years. The City must build capacity in the budget to fund the construction of the new station and the estimated $2 million annual cost for staffing.
In March 2016 the Roseville Fire Department received reaccreditation from the Center for Public Safety Excellence. The accreditation process is a comprehensive self-assessment and evaluation model that enables the organization to examine past, current, and future service levels and internal performance and compare them to industry best practices. The accreditation is valid for a five-year period.
Training and Staffing Levels
As first responders, the Fire Department’s emergency preparedness is honed through a range of training. Performance capabilities for hazardous-materials response have taken on a new dimension given the increased transportation of highly volatile Bakken crude oil shipments throughout the country. Funded by Union Pacific, Roseville firefighters have attended specialized training in Colorado focused on fighting petroleum fires.
The Fire Department implemented a lateral hiring process that will bring six firefighter/paramedics to the department in June 2016 to fill current vacancies. Benefits to the new process include a shorter academy - which is a significant cost savings in personnel hours - and the ability to keep an active hiring list and hire when positions are vacant rather than waiting until there are enough vacancies to fill an academy class. This will assist with succession planning as well.
Relocation of Fire Station No. 1
In FY2016-17 construction will begin on a modern facility for downtown’s Fire Station No. 1. This need was identified during the visioning process for the Downtown Specific Plan and is being funded with developer fees. Since this is a relocation of existing staff, there are no additional operational funds required for the new Fire Station No. 1.