PHILADELPHIA – The Fiscal Year 2019 Budget and Five-Year Plan proposed by Mayor Kenney to City Council yesterday include significant investments in public safety for the City.
The Plan provides almost $100 million in additional funding to the Police Department, to make sure the police force is at its full complement of over 6,500 officers.
“With the new budget, the Police Department will be able to attain the highest staffing levels in nearly a decade,” says Police Commissioner Richard Ross. “This will allow us to provide even greater and more effective service to the city’s residents and visitors. The increased staffing will serve to further our overarching goals of combatting crime and enhancing the quality of life for all Philadelphians.”
The Proposed FY19 budget will provide the Fire Department with a 24% increase in Fire’s personnel budget since Mayor Kenney took office. Growth in budgeted positions means additional emergency responders like firefighters and paramedics.
The Capital Program includes $10 million annually for vehicle replacement. The Budget invests in safety training, including dedicated training officer positions. The Plan invests in a new facility, the Logistics Hub, which will house training space, covered reserve apparatus storage, and a health & safety unit, among other functions.
“This budget represents the most significant investment in decades for the Fire Department,” said Commissioner Adam Thiel. “It will allow us to help provide critical training; continue replacing outdated vehicles; hire more firefighters and paramedics; and support vital health and safety initiatives. In short: The city, and our members, will be safer.”
In addition to the funding provided for the Police and Fire Departments, the budget and Five-Year Plan makes key investments in building safety, safe streets and in protecting our most vulnerable children.
The Capital Program and Five-Year Plan propose $60 million for the Streets Department to focus on reducing traffic fatalities through Vision Zero, and establish a safe, efficient transportation network.
The Plan invests $1.5 million more annually in child welfare, matched by almost $9 million in federal and state grants. Increases will cover actual costs for providers, and fund additional staff. Family Empowerment Services will gain 16 additional case managers to help keep kids in their homes.
The Plan proposes $2 million more, annually, in demolition funding for L&I, to enable the Department to demolish up to 650 unsafe properties, focusing on imminently dangerous structures.