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The City Journals

Sandy City to Study Its Public Safety

Jun 10, 2016 10:58AM ● By Chris Larson

By Chris Larson | [email protected]

Sandy City administration is working on a request for proposals for a comprehensive study of public safety apparatus. 

Both the Sandy City police and fire departments face staffing challenges, with about 30 percent of the police force up for retirement in the next three years and the staffing of the fire department diminished to well below 2002 levels despite an increasing call volume. 

Councilmember Kristin Coleman-Nicholl said the study is the council is not equipped to make the appropriate predictions for staffing needs, as both Sandy’s daytime and nighttime populations increase the CAIRNS Project and expansion of high-density housing in downtown Sandy. 

“Our goal with the staffing study is to leave it to a professional to determine, with our large amount growth in our downtown area and with our annexations, our exact need,” Coleman-Nicholl said. 

A request for proposals draft said a potential study would entail a “comprehensive assessment and evaluation” of the “needs and performance” of the police and fire departments and emergency medical service. 

The potential study would also examine the effectiveness of the department’s abilities, ranging from training employees to keeping records; the city growth demographics and projections; and the community’s financial capabilities. 

The police department has experienced waves of retirements in recent years. Eight police officers retired in 2014 when former Police Chief Stephen retired. The police department in recent years has been down by as many as 17 officers according to Coleman-Nicholl.

Coleman-Nicholl said the city hopes to detail the needs of Sandy’s public safety needs so the departments can stratify hiring the budgets of separate years, rather than straining any given year’s budget by hiring several employees at once. 

“We just need to get it out to the right people and wait for bids to come back,” Coleman-Nicholl said. 

The requests for proposals resolution was removed from the May 10 consent calendar and will be discussed on May 24 because Councilmember Steve Fairbanks said it required more time and discussion.