Public safety budgets account for half of the City’s general fund
Published on September 26, 2022
What it does: Adds patrol officers and firefighters to better protect residents.
What’s the benefit to taxpayers? Ensures the City has adequate resources to foster a safe community.
What’s the budget proposal: Funding police and fire accounts for more than half of the general fund.
What’s next: The City Council will consider approval of the 2023 budget on Tuesday, Sept. 27.
Most Fort Worth residents may never need help from police officers or firefighters, but having a well-equipped, well-trained workforce ready to respond is crucial in fostering a safe community.
The costs to fund public safety departments and programs represent nearly 54% of the City’s general fund. The majority of the costs can be traced to both departments’ human capital – salaries and benefits represent the largest segments.
Fort Worth Police
The Fort Worth Police Department’s share of the proposed 2023 budget is $289.5 million (32.6% of the general fund). If approved, additional patrol officers would join the ranks to decrease emergency response times and boost the department’s visibility at a cost of $1.8 million. Added resources would be funded for the Crimes Against Children unit and Homeless Outreach Program Enforcement and also seven additional 911 call-takers to reduce wait times.
For Police, the bulk of the proposed budget funds salaries and benefits, at $263.8 million; while general operations and maintenance accounts for most of the rest at $34.3 million.
Fort Worth Fire
The Fort Worth Fire Department’s share of the proposed budget is $192 million (21.1% of the general fund). The Fire Department’s mission to provide education, fire prevention initiatives and emergency response. It operates 45 fire stations and employs more than 900 employees in its 345-square-mile service area. The department responds to more than 110,000 calls each year, with more than half related to Emergency Medical Services.
Major Fire initiatives include opening a new fire station – Station 45 at 1901 Quail Grove Drive – to provide fire protection to the fast-growing far northwest part of the city near U.S. 287 and I-35. To serve that area, the proposed budget includes $1.18 million to add a second engine company of 14 firefighters to provide faster response times and better coverage.
The majority of the Fire Department’s proposed budget is salaries and befits at $173 million, with the rest going toward operating and maintaining the department’s assets at $19 million.
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