FY20 Public Safety Priorities
The FY20 budget ensures the City is investing in capacity building, innovation, and technology to meet the public safety needs of a growing city.
The FY20 budget continues to invest in technology and increased staff capacity for the Police Department. It contains funding to continue the rollout of the body worn camera program. It also contains funding for a police recruit class of 120 and a class of 20 cadets will start in the spring. This cadet class will expand public safety opportunities to a diverse pipeline of local young people.
Other FY20 investments in Boston's police force include:
- adding four staff to the Forensics Division to meet new requirements for evidence processing
- adding laboratory calibration services to increase staff efficiency
- additional funding to complete the comprehensive Radio Upgrade project
- doubling the size of the Cold Case Unit
- adding a traffic analyst position to provide enhanced analytics for traffic incidents, and
- adding additional staff to the new Community Engagement Bureau. This new Bureau will focus on strengthening relationships between the community and law enforcement.
The health and safety of firefighters continues to be paramount for the City and the FY20 continues invest heavily in the Fire Department, including:
- $500k in industrial cleaning for firehouses
- $475k for critical facility repairs
- $250k for facility maintenance to living quarters
- $250k for public facing facilities improvements (e.g., public restrooms), and
- $50k in wellness seminars to improve firefighter health, plus an additional $100k for enhanced drug screening technology.
The Mayor’s Enhanced Apparatus Replacement Plan will replace 8 trucks in FY20 and will have replaced a total of 47 over five years. The department will also replace a brush truck and biopacks for tunnel rescue and fire operations.
Emergency Management Services will expand the successful Community Assistance Teams (CAT) that were launched in 2018. These teams provide non-transport services and referrals, and frees up ambulances to respond to other individuals. EMS will also invest in new ambulances in FY20 and continue to support a robust level of sworn EMTs.
EMS will also create a staff position to continue efforts to recruit diverse candidates, and will continue funding to continue a scholarship program removing financial barriers for interested recruits.