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Phoenix police seeks $350 million plus in overhaul of facilities, fleet

Posted at 5:09 PM, Oct 17, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-17 23:28:59-04

Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams wants to win the lottery. Well not really but based on the requests for capital investments into her department, she may want to buy a ticket. 

"This is a 40 to 50-year decision that we're making," said Chief Williams to Phoenix City Council members Wednesday.

As the City of Phoenix continues to explode in population, the city's top cop says we must prepare for the future.

"The total cost is between 354 and 490 million dollars for all the things we've mentioned," Chief Williams said with staff by her side.

With that kind of price tag, what's on the wish list?

Chief Williams says it starts with their headquarters.

A building she says is 44 years old but operating more like an 88-year-old facility.

"As you all know with the recent rains that came in we literally started taking pictures of water intrusion to the point of a waterfall downstairs," Chief Williams said. 

She says the new facility alone would cost between 250 and 350 million dollars.

Replacing aging precincts in Cactus Park and Maryvale also made the list, taking on another 20 to 40 million.

Then there's the vehicle fleet.

"Officers come off shift one, they hand the keys to a person on shift two, who hands the keys to someone else on shift three, our cars never have downtime," Chief Williams said.

The hope is to replace 58 percent of the fleet or 1350 vehicles over three years, a cool 50 million bucks there.

Along with ground vehicles, she says air support is in need of an upgrade as well. The list includes modernizing four choppers as well as adding three more, 6 million dollars each.

And when it comes to crowd control in downtown are your safety during big events, they'd like a new HQ for that too.

"Think in context of the fact that we're bringing so many big events here in the city, it would be nice to have a facility downtown for our use," Chief Williams said.

While council members seemed empathetic to the chiefs plight, the dollar amount begs the question of where will the money come from. 

The council did throw around a couple of funding options including a bond fund to raise money through investors and raising the tax on food.

Clearly in a city that historically rejects raising taxes for just about any reason, finding the money may be tough.