EVERETT, Wash. - Everett Mayor Cassie Franklin announced big plans for the city as she outlined her 2024 budget proposal Wednesday night before the city council. Part of that budget includes a plan to hire more uniformed officers with the police department, along with a wellness coordinator.
"Our residents, business owners and visitors deserve to feel safe in our city, but I know many do not," said Franklin. "We have done a study of our police department that identified that we do need to hire more officers for a city of this size and a city that’s growing."
Franklin's 2024 budget proposal includes funding for nine new uniformed officers. She says two of the positions will be funded by the Skagit Training Academy, the others through a Department of Justice (DOJ) program.
"Seven of those positions are funded through the Department of Justice, the community-oriented policing program funding we applied for back in 2020," said Franklin.
"Nine is a great start," said Dan Templeman, the Everett Police Chief. "Certainly in the future, we need to be looking towards these issues that we are going to be facing, and maybe even more officers down the road."
Templeman says the new officers will be a great asset, but community support is still needed.
"It’s critically important that the community also partner with us. That may mean non-profits or other community organizations that have expertise in some of these areas that we are dealing with," said Templeman. "It's that partnership that is going to be required to make the changes our community is expecting to see."
Everett residents like Shaun Horn say they look forward to the increased safety presence. Horn spoke before the city council Wednesday night.
"You need more police officers walking the beat, not driving the cars. Walk the beat and talk to the people," said Horn.
Meantime, downtown businesses like That Chicken Place continue to do the best they can by implementing their own safety measures.
"You can get the best chicken here in town," said Alfonso Bustos, owner and manager of That Chicken Place in Everett. "Everything seems so far so good here."
Bustos just took over the restaurant in April. To keep his new venture safe, he installed extra security features right away.
"I did put big reflector lamps outside, so whenever there is someone, there is a motion camera sensor," said Bustos.
Bustos says safety is key for residents and businesses to thrive.
"More security the better," he said.
The Everett City Council said the proposed budget books will be handed out in mid-October. The council will vote on a budget in late November.