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Chico Police and Fire chiefs talk about future department needs in proposed budget talks

On Tuesday night the Chico City Council covered part two of the proposed budget for the upcoming year, this time the council hearing feedback from its city's police and fire chiefs.

Posted: May. 7, 2019 10:44 PM
Updated: May. 8, 2019 11:54 AM

CHICO, Calif. - On Tuesday night, the Chico City Council covered part two of the proposed budget for the upcoming year, this time with the council hearing feedback from the city's police and fire chiefs.

Both the Chico Police and Fire Chief emphasized increasing staffing was one of their top priorities.

In the meeting, City Finance Director Scott Dowell said the budget is balanced but limited. In response, City Manager Mark Orme proposed finding priorities within city departments. Chico Police Chief Mike O'Brien and Chico Fire Chief Steve Standridge presented their departments' future needs and highlighted their departments' current service delivery model.

"Without a doubt, staffing is my most critical need and so getting us to that 17 level is a minimum baseline we want to achieve," Standridge said. 

"Everyday professionals tackle this new reality and rise to the occasion, but is it sustainable? That is a question I am monitoring and feel obligated to report to you and the city manager, but without additional resources, it does not matter and that really is the question,"  O'Brien said. 

The fire chief also emphasized the need for more wildland resources and infrastructure. The police chief spoke about how busy his dispatch center is and the need for partnerships that keep the community safe.

On a separate agenda item, the Chico City Council approved efforts to engage labor union SEIU to pay more of the city's retirement funds.

The council also approved the Sustainability Commission and the Diversity Action Plan item with a few modifications. They also approved adding all the council requests for future discussion.

Housing Bill AB430 will be discussed at the next meeting.

To view the May 7 meeting agenda and video, CLICK HERE

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