BUENA PARK : Tax for More Police Considered for Ballot

A ballot measure to increase property taxes for more police officers will be discussed by the City Council this spring.

"It is a safe to say it is an option we are considering," said Mayor Donald L. Bone.

The City Council has yet to have a formal discussion on the concept, said City Manager Kevin O'Rourke.

"But it's on the stack for upcoming discussion with the council," he said.

Bone added that action to place a tax ballot measure before voters in November will also depend on decisions the council makes on the upcoming 1994-95 budget.

City officials said the council would have to decide by July to place a measure on the November ballot. Two-thirds of the voters would have to approve of the tax, Bone said.

Police Chief Richard M. Tefank said the 87-member department needs more officers.

"When you look at the demands for calls for service and the types of issues that we deal with in the community, there is always a need for additional resources," Tefank said.

Tefank also said that since 1991, the city has not filled vacancies for five police officer positions and four civilian positions in the department.

Councilman Arthur C. Brown said he would support higher property taxes if it meant increased crime protection and faster responses to emergency calls.

O'Rourke said the city faces an increasing challenge in keeping the current level of services with dwindling revenues.

"Business as usual in the city is over and has been for a while," O'Rourke said. "The way we provide services to our community is changing."

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