Clovis City Council addresses police shortage at workshop

CLOVIS, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) — The Clovis City Council hosted a workshop to discuss options for addressing a shortage in the police force.

It comes after a citizens’ advisory committee was formed in January to research the need for more safety in the community.

After two and a half hours of discussions, the board made no decision Monday evening, but they agreed to add more officers to the force.

“Yes, we want more officers, I don’t want to use the reserve, I don’t know if I support a tax measure today,” said one of the city council members.

The city council considered a lengthy proposal trying to decide how to fund adding more officers.

“If it was a perfect world and the chief could hire them tomorrow, the first year cost would be estimated at $20 million and the ongoing cost would be around $13 million,” the city manager added. Clovis.

But hours of discussion between the members of the council, the prefect of police and those of the citizen advisory council; wondering how long they can get the ball rolling. They are struggling to pass a tax measure to appear on the November ballot.

“There are obviously concerns, I have the same concerns as a citizen you know that asking for any additional duty in these uncertain times is a tough call to make,” Chief Curt Fleming said.

“This two three or four years from now is really where we’re going to see the impacts and you know having to wait two years is not the most ideal thing,” added former police chief Matthew Basgall.

There was discussion about what kind of tax they could adopt, including general tax, special tax, occupancy tax, and what happened in 2009 saying that the economic years to coming could affect all decisions made now.

“It’s going to be a big struggle because there’s such an urgency to do something,” Fleming said.

Overall, the council says it needs more time to make a decision and may have to wait until next year to engage voters.

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