Everett City Council rejects grant to add 16 new police officers

VIDEO: Everett City Council rejects grant to add 16 new police officers

EVERETT, Wash. — A plan that would have added more than a dozen police officers to Everett’s streets does not seem to be materializing.

As part of a $6 million federal grant, the Everett Police Department could have hired as many as 16 officers over the next several years.

To keep those officers on the payroll, however, the city would have had to pay $8 million from its own budget, which city council members insisted was too much.

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“It’s just a very unsure time, and without a road map on how we could find those funds, it’s just hard to understand how we can do that,” said Judy Tuohy, president of the Everett City Council.

As a result, the city council didn’t even allow the issue to come to a vote, causing push back from Everett’s police chief.

“What I would argue is that we need to be looking several years out. We need to be looking into the future,” Chief Dan Templeman said.

Using the law enforcement bench mark of how many officers there are for every 1,000 people, KIRO 7 News looked into the issue of staffing at EPD.

A check of the numbers shows Everett’s rate is 1.74 officers per 1,000 residents.

That compares to 1.19 officers per 1,000 in Renton, and 1.38 officers per 1,000 in Yakima. Both communities have populations similar to Everett.

Templeman insisted that more officers are needed, all at a time when defunding police departments has become a nationwide call.

“Was there ever a thought in your mind that this went beyond the budget, and that it’s what we’re seeing nationwide with defund(ing) the police?” reporter Ryan Simms asked Templeman.

“I certainly hope not,” the chief responded. “I haven’t heard that from this council.”

KIRO 7 learned the grant money might not be lost yet. City council members said they are open to hiring more officers, just not 16 of them.

“I think we give it more ... options and see if council can’t come up with a way that they feel more comfortable—so we’ll see if that works,” Tuohy said.