Multiple officer coverage was discussed prior to the 2020 referendum, and we were in imminent jeopardy of not being able to fulfill our single officer 24/7 police coverage obligation – officer welfare was a significant concern of mine.

As we looked to address these challenges, our officers experienced several events and conditions that placed further stress on our team, including added workloads and health risks of working through the COVID-19 pandemic, constant need to be prepared for call-ins related to protests and civil disorder, increased criticism and disparaging interactions from the public, and rising incidents of recklessness and obstructive behaviors. These experiences were also accompanied by some impactful national trends, including rising rates of violent crime, high-profile incidents of deadly assaults targeting police, politicization of law enforcement, and calls to “defund” police departments.

Furthermore, the need for two-officer coverage has become more apparent as a best practice for modern policing in an urban environment, providing immediate backup and reducing the risks associated with solo patrols. The addition of two officers aims to enhance coverage, improve response capabilities, and address the increased risks and demands that have emerged over the past four years. This proactive measure ensures that the department can continue to provide high-quality services and adapt to the evolving needs of the community.