Community Safety Initiative
The Community Safety System
The Community Safety System includes police, fire, 911, municipal court, prevention and social services, which are interdependent and work together.
What is the problem?
Our Community Safety System is stressed
- Calls for police service increased 21% from 2014-17.
- Staffing levels have remained relatively flat.
- One out of three non-life threatening police calls for service receive no response, and general response times have increased by 20 minutes.
- The number of unsheltered homeless adults is significantly higher than in many other similar communities.
While many creative programs have been applied to this problem to maximize resources and meet community needs, the growing demand continues to outpace capacity.
What is the plan?
The Eugene City Council passed the Community Safety Payroll Tax Ordinance (No. 20616) in June 2019 to provide long-term funding for community safety services. The Community Safety Payroll Tax is expected to generate $23.6 million annually to provide faster, more efficient safety responses, deter crime, connect people to services, engage and help at-risk youth, support more investigations and court services, and add jail beds to reduce capacity-based releases and hold those who commit crimes accountable.
This is the first priority with the goals of:
- Answering more calls
- Getting to more crimes faster
- Using new tools and methods to increase efficiency
The goal is to resolve every situation in a way that is best for the people involved, as well as the community.
- More investigations
- More court services
- More accountability
Many people are seen repeatedly. The goal is to reduce those interactions and help people deal with their challenges. Community partners are integral.
- Deter crime
- Connect people to services
- Engage at-risk youth early
- 40 patrol officers, 5 detectives, 4 sergeants and lieutenant
- 10 community service officers, sergeant and lieutenant
- 9.5 staff for 911
- Street Crimes Unit
- Animal welfare and traffic safety officers
- Evidence control and forensic analysts
- 10 additional jail beds and increased jail services
- Opening 3rd municipal courtroom with additional staffing
- 911 triage/community response unit
- Expansion of Community Court and Mental Health Court
- Enhanced homelessness services – emergency shelters options and day center
- After school programs at Title 1 schools
How Community Safety Payroll Tax Funds Will Be Spent
Funds will only be used to pay for community safety services. Protections in the proposed ordinance passed by the Council include:
- Creating a separate fund for payroll tax revenue
- Ensuring that payroll tax funds won’t replace existing funding
- Requiring an independent financial audit
- Establishing a citizen advisory board to review annual performance audits
- Requiring a 7-year review and reauthorization
- Charter amendment capping the rates and limiting use to community safety
|Employer Payroll Tax||Tax Rate|
|Employers (2 or Less Employees)*||0.0015|
|Employers (More than 2 Employees)||0.0021|
*An employer with two employees or less would receive a reduced rate of .0015 on the first $100,000
|Employee Tax Rate||Tax Rate|
|Minimum Wage Employees**||0.0000|
|Employees Earning $12.01-$15/hour||0.0030|
|Employees Earning Above $15/hour||0.0044|
** As of July 1, 2020, the minimum wage in Eugene will be $12 per hour.