Tax measure will allow Kingsburg to add police officers and firefighters

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Voters approved a special tax hike that will pour additional funds into the Kingsburg's budget to bolster staffing levels. (KFSN)

For the first time in recent memory, the city of Kingsburg is adding to its police and fire departments.

Last week voters overwhelmingly passed Measure E to enact a one-cent sales tax that will go into a dedicated fund to help the city's public safety services.

City Councilmember Staci Smith said, "We are very excited about Measure E passing. Kingsburg has always been a safe community. We've always put a high priority on public safety here in town."

The special tax is estimated to generate around $940,000 annually over the next ten years.

A bulk of the new money will be used to hire seven to ten additional police officers and firefighters.

Kingsburg Police Chief Neil Dadian says his department will, "Be able to increase deployment by 33% per shift, so that's a huge increase."

14 officers currently make up the Kingsburg Police Department.

Any leftover money will be used to replace out of date equipment.

"New cars, updated weapons, tasers, rifles things of that nature, safety equipment, helmets," said Chief Dadian. "Just making sure we are providing officers in the field with everything they need."

The extra money will also go toward paramedic staffing levels and 911 emergency services.

Kingsburg city leaders are currently working to create an oversight committee to analyze the need of each department and identify how the money should be spent.

"If anybody is interested in being a part of (the committee), give us a call at city hall," said Councilmember Smith. "We'll start collecting the additional sales tax in November."

All funds generated are staying in the city of Kingsburg.
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