July 1, 2004
South Scottsdale residents should soon see more blue and whites on their streets.
The city sales tax increase that starts today will pay for 44 extra positions in the Scottsdale Police Department, with south Scottsdale ge tting the most new personnel.
"We will be adding another lieutenant, two more sergeants and 10 more officers," said police Cmdr. Dave Marshall, who currently oversees 58 patrol officers in the southern district that includes downtown.
"And that’s strictly my patrol deployment, that does not include the bike unit or the canine unit and all of those that are assigned out of our special assignments division."
Marshall said the department is actively recruiting.
The new positions are funded with the 0.10 percentage point increase in the city sales tax — which comes to 10 cents for every $100 in purchases.
Voters approved the measure by a 2-to-1 margin in May. The tax is expected to generate $8 million annually for public safety enhancements, including the $4.2 million tied to the new police positions.
Marshall said the additional patrols will be put to use, in part, to promote community policing downtown, where high-rise housing soon will join the stores, restaurants and nightclubs.
"The entertainment portion of downtown Scottsdale is becoming the spot for the metro Phoenix area as far as nightlife activity," Marshall said. "But we are seeing more 24-hour public service needs as we start putting more people into this area, living there, not just visiting and shopping and being entertained."
City officials have estimated 7,000 to 9,000 people will take up residence in
downtown Scottsdale by 2008.
The tax increase also will pay for a new traffic enforcement squad, a cybercrimes unit, mountain preserve officers, new code officers and more.