BY SUELEN RIVERA
Oct 23, 2021
PHOENIX — The city of Mesa announced Thursday it is adding nearly 200 positions to the fire and police departments in an effort to prioritize public safety. The new positions — 81 fire and medical and 117 police — are expected to staff a new fire station, train personnel and provide a more efficient response throughout the city, officials said in a press release.
“Mesa is delivering more, sooner. We accelerated the hiring process and increased the number of new positions for our fire and police departments,” Chris Brady, Mesa city manager, said in the release. “In addition to the 2018 voter-approved public safety sales tax increase, the city of Mesa is using general and other funds to ensure our fire and medical and police departments are keeping up with the demand and maintaining our community’s safety.”
From those funds, the largest allocation of $2-to-4 million will go toward an evidence facility, while $1.26 million will go to a helicopter mapping and camera system. The city set aside $1.9 million to support additional fire recruits, while $1.3 million will go to support more police recruits. These improvements come after the city has already replaced communication dispatch emergency base stations, radios and purchased new vehicles.
Previously, Mesa predicted adding 45 fire and medical and 65 police positions. The city forecasts the agency will add 36 more positions during the next five years. “We are obtaining advanced technology and training our police officers on investigating crime more efficiently,” Mesa Police Chief Ken Cost said in the release. “New technology helps us stay one step ahead of criminals. With the strong support from our community, City Council and City leadership, and the resources provided to our police officers, we are keeping our communities safe.”