Anaheim Mayor Pro Tem Kris Murray published this op-ed in the Orange County Register:
As the mayor pro tem for the city of Anaheim, public safety is my top priority. There is nothing more important we can do as public servants than to ensure the security of our residents.
At a recent City Council meeting, I proposed a new budgetary initiative to restore the Anaheim Police Department to pre-recession levels. My proposal seeks to hire 40 additional officers over the next four years.
The city’s police officers place their lives on the line every day to serve Anaheim. Following the recent attack on an Anaheim family and officers, which resulted in the serious injury of Anaheim’s K-9 officer Bruno, our city came together to honor our men and women in uniform. We were so heartened when Bruno was able to return home to his family and handler, Officer R.J. Young. My fellow council members and I were honored to host Bruno for his official retirement ceremony on Tuesday at City Hall. Special thanks is owed to all the members of the community who have shown their support for Bruno and our officers.
This recent violence starkly underscores the need to hire more officers and return our department to full pre-recession strength. The 40 in 4 Initiative would return the police department to the 2008 level of 404 sworn officers, up from 364 officers today, and equal to the staffing levels that existed before the economic downturn. All without burdening the taxpayers.
My commitment to city residents is that we will not raise any new taxes or fees for funding this initiative. Over the past few years, economic growth projections and city revenues have been on a steady upward trend. The 40 in 4 Initiative, if approved by the City Council, can be covered by these gains and will make law enforcement hiring the top budget priority, getting our police force back up to full strength.
You can read the rest of her column here.