The Boulder City Council on Thursday unanimously approved a motion to accept the Boulder Police Department’s “reimagining policing” plan. The long-range vision seeks to focus on crime prevention — primarily by targeting hotspots where officers receive a disproportionate number of calls, rather than responding to calls.
The Boulder Police Department has already started shifting strategies in accordance with the new plan.
But it remains unclear whether the department will have the resources to fully implement the vision, at least in the near term.
The plan proposes to increase the number of police officers in the city from 191 to 206. The hope is that the additional staffing will free up officer time so they can focus on problem-solving rather than reacting to reports of crime. The plan also calls for creating a partnership with CU Boulder to create a Colorado POST-certified academy.
However, the city manager’s 2024 proposed budget does not include any additional funding for either of these plans. The budget proposal slightly reduces overall spending for the Boulder Police Department to about $41 million.
City Manager Nuria Rivera-Vandermyde told councilmembers on Sept. 7 the “first priority” is to fill some of the department’s 17 vacancies before allocating more resources for additional officers. Rivera-Vandermyde also said her proposed budget includes funding for a new non-police alternative to 911 calls — dubbed the Community Assistance Response Engagement (CARE) program — which could free up officers’ time.
“We’re committed to continuing to work with BPD to best determine its exact resource needs in the future,” Rivera-Vandermyde said
The Boulder City Council will begin discussing the 2024 budget on Thursday, Sept. 14.