Safety, homelessness, recovery top priorities in Tacoma State of the City address

TACOMA, Wash. — Tacoma Mayor Victoria Woodards laid out her priorities for the city in her annual State of the City address Thursday night.

She said community safety, homelessness and economic recovery are major priorities for the city.

In 2022, Tacoma had the most homicides ever recorded in the city, so violent crimes and gun violence were two issues she addressed.

Woodards said the city is committing $1 million to launch a community services officer program that will provide support for calls about non-emergency situations, leaving other police officers available to respond to calls involving threats to life or property.

As the Tacoma Police Department continues its work to hire more officers, the department announced a $10,000 retention and recruitment incentive to help bring in new officers while keeping the ones already on staff.

The Tacoma Fire Department is also implementing a behavioral health crisis response team which will provide resources to those in need.

Woodards also spoke about economic growth in Tacoma.

The city loaned $6.5 million to 636 small businesses while awarding $3 million in recovery grants.

Looking ahead, the city said it’s working with the Alliance for Gun Responsibility, which plans to hold a conference in May to find solutions to end gun violence.