City manager, police chief, and fire chief send special message to community about troubling times
Keeping Paso Robles healthy, safe, and prepared
A message to the community from City Manager Tom Frutchey, Paso Robles Police Chief Ty Lewis, and Paso Robles Fire Chief Jonathan Stornetta Paso Robles :
–It is our honor to serve the residents of Paso Robles, and we are thankful to the community in these challenging times. Amid a global pandemic, an active shooter situation, and the River Fire we have witnessed our City coming together – looking out for neighbors, supporting local businesses, and respecting the right to assemble safely and peacefully. Together, we will continue the road to recovery, and be stronger for it.
Public health and safety remain our top priority. We would like to thank all of the residents and business owners who have provided us with comments, feedback, and perspectives during this time on how we are doing and what your public safety needs and priorities are. Your support and input have been, and continue to be, truly appreciated.
As you know, every day the men and women of our Police and Fire Departments are on the frontlines protecting the community and remaining prepared for any emergency. This is critical in normal times – and public health and safety needs are only exacerbated now. The demands of COVID-19, declining revenue projections, increased fire danger, and a continued rise in demand for public safety services in recent years continue to strain the city’s ability to provide essential services the community values and deserves.
In the past five years alone, the Paso Robles Fire Department has seen a 28-percent increase in calls for service; Police Department calls for service have increased 40-percent. In 2019, there were over 2,500 times when all available police officers were committed to a call, and there are fewer officers now than in 2007. As wildfires become an increasing concern in more populated areas, the Fire Department has responded to more than 425 wildland fires in the past three years and has been able to meet emergency response time goals only 49-percent of the time.
We must continue to work together to ensure our community is prepared for current and future emergencies, by maintaining adequate and effective public safety services and emergency preparedness. Recent events have indicated how critical it is to have adequate resources to respond to significant emergencies while also maintaining coverage for simultaneous 911 calls.
While we appreciate the work the state is doing to address health and safety, it is important to note that cities of our size have been left out of any recovery funding from the state or federal government. With no assurances Paso Roblans can count on federal or state funding to address COVID-19 local impacts and recovery efforts, we need to determine how to best maintain fiscal sustainability and to address community priorities including public safety and local economic recovery.
As we move to recovery and demand for public safety services continue to rise, we have been seeking the community’s input. If you have not already, we ask that you to take a moment to provide your feedback on your priorities for Paso Robles’s future. You can visit prcity.com/priorities to provide your input. Thank you to the 3,100 community members who have provided their input to date.
We will continue to update the community about our local recovery efforts to maintain a fiscally sustainable and safe community, and keep Paso Robles a fantastic community to live, work, and play.