Over the past few years, I have expressed concerns regarding the spending in our city’s budget; this year was no different. However, I continue to advocate for a number of important aspects of the budget. This includes new investments in police and fire to ensure that our officers and firefighters have the necessary resources to provide professional, efficient and effective services. Providing public safety services to our residents also includes forging innovative partnerships in the community. As students head back to school, I wanted to highlight a couple of programs that our Police and Fire departments have implemented in collaboration with our local school districts.
The Fire Department began the Fire Pal Program in 1994 using school presentations to teach children from Kindergarten through 5th grade about fire and life safety. The program, led by the Community Risk Reduction Division-Community Education staff,
teaches students about transportation safety, fire safety, water safety, gun safety and bullying.
Additionally, this year we are adding a school resource officer (SRO) to the Police Department, for a total of five SROs serving the city. Our SROs are responsible for 24 schools, including three high schools, in five separate school districts in the city. These officers not only investigate and prevent crimes on campus but they are also involved and integrated in school related activities. Our SRO program has been so successful that in 2018 the Goodyear Police Department was awarded a “Model Agency” Designation by the National Association of School Resource Officers and a Unit Citation from the Arizona School Resource Officers Association. The Police Department’s commitment is to work with our schools, the students and the community to keep our youth safe and focused on school.
Effective partnerships with local schools and the community is a vital component of public safety. I am proud that the city of Goodyear continues to exemplify these values to ensure our health and safety (within a reasonable budget, of course).