At its meeting on July 18, the U.P. City Council voted unanimously to support placing a public safety levy proposal on the November ballot to support increased funding for the U.P. Police Department. The proposal, if passed, would enable the UPPD to hire additional staff to address citizens’ concerns regarding public safety in University Place, especially amid the city’s growing population.
“When I campaigned for this position, I went door-to-door. I probably spoke to 1,200 to 1,500 of my fellow citizens,” said Council Member Ed Wood, who like his fellow Council Members fully supports putting the measure to the voters. “The number one issue that people talked about was public safety, whether it be traffic and traffic enforcement or property crime.”
Council Member Stan Flemming said the levy proposal reflects the desire of citizens and the City Council to make public safety a top priority. “This is really about a request from the community and as such, the community has the right to decide,” he said.
The Council’s vote follows several community listening sessions, during which time more than 100 citizens attended in person and another 700 visited the public safety levy page on the City’s website. Another 900 online viewers visited the Police Department’s webpage.
“Our goal was to try to give the public—citizens and business owners alike—the opportunity to learn, ask questions and view the data for themselves,” said U.P. Police Chief Greg Premo. “We appreciate the level of engagement the public has shown and their willingness to engage in an honest, civil dialogue about an issue that affects us all.”
The proposal which will appear on the ballot is one presented by Chief Premo that proposes to include funding for two additional positions in the investigations unit, add two dedicated traffic enforcement officers, and add two additional patrol officers to each shift. Two new community outreach positions will assist with community education and crime prevention efforts.
View the specific public safety levy proposal here and watch all three forums to learn about the proposal. For more information, visit the Public Safety Levy Discussion page.