1) Additional Personnel
Twelve new police and fire personnel add capacity to public safety services.
The goal of hiring additional personnel through the public safety levy has been met and exceeded—twelve have been hired. The levy provided funding for six new public safety employees (three police officers, including one school resource officer, and three firefighters). To date, three firefighters and three police officers have been hired. One detective was reassigned to the school resource officer position.
In addition to the three firefighters hired directly through levy funding, four fire personnel were hired through funding from service changes—one paramedic (due to Medic One contract changes for south Thurston County) and three firefighters (from the west side annexation).
A federal SAFER grant also fully funded two additional firefighters for two years (2013-2014). The increased staffing has allowed Tumwater’s North End Fire Station to re-open on a part-time basis for the first time in many years. The increased staffing has allowed Tumwater’s North End Fire Station to re-open and is staffed at half-time (50%), exceeding expectations promised in the levy.
In January 2013, the Police Department began formal recruitment for the final new officer to replace the reassigned detective. Standards for becoming a police officer are very high. Applicants must pass a series of stringent screenings (civil service test, oral boards, physical ability tests, background screening and a psychological exam) to be hired. The police academy and field training take an additional year to complete. The department hired the third officer in September 2014.