On The Issues
Public safety is my #1 priority.
Artist’s rendering of the new public safety complex. | Courtesy Lehi City
We’re about to have a BIG upgrade in public safety facilities!
For many years, our officers have operated out of a converted warehouse on State Road. It doesn’t have enough space, proper interrogation rooms, or evidence storage, so we’ve started building a new station across from City Hall. “At about 43,000 square feet, the new police station will be fully functional for years to come, and house police working spaces, offices, holding cells, labs and evidence processing and storage areas and interview rooms.
It will also have secure entrances and exits.” (Daily Herald, 10/24/18) Since it’s in Old Town, east of City Hall, the station design has a historic feel to it and echoes the appearance of the old Broadbent’s Store. The projected completion date is September 2020, and it will be built with no tax increase to residents.
Our Police Department needs better pay and facilities.
When I participated in Citizen Police Academy, they gave me a very real-looking weapon and had me act as an officer responding to an active school shooter simulation. I’ve never forgotten how terrifying if was, and every time I have a lockdown drill with my students at school, I remember the dangers our officers face every day.
Currently we have the same challenges as neighboring communities: how can we hire and retain quality officers? Recently, we’ve lost valuable personnel to other communities, especially those areas opting out of Unified PD.
It’s unacceptable. Some cite wage issues, so we’ve taken steps to address this problem, putting in place a 10% raise for our officers effective July 1, 2019. That will make our wages higher than those in Provo or Orem, along with competitive benefit packages.
Our Fire Department is top-notch, and competition for jobs is fierce.
I did Lehi’s Fire Ops training a couple of years ago, and we were supposed to rescue a 200 lb. mannequin from a smoke-filled building. I crawled into the disorienting blackness as far I could before panic set in. Later, when I asked them how far I’d gotten, they tried hard not to laugh. “We could still see your feet.” I have total respect for what they do!
We want the best firefighting facilities and the best people in them. In our last hiring cycle, only four made the cut out of nearly two dozen applicants! In January 2018, we opened Station 83 in Traverse and it’s tower has become a training hub for surrounding communities. Some cool facts about Station 83 can be found here:
“Lehi Fire Station 83 is a one of a kind fire station, whose turn-of-the-century design pays homage to fire fighters of the past while its modern amenities protect Lehi City’s future.”