City hosts Public Safety bond meetings

El Paso News

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — It’s almost Election Day in El Paso and there’s a big-ticket item on the ballot. That’s the multi-million dollar Public Safety Bond aimed at improving El Paso Police and Fire Department infrastructure.

The 2019 Public Safety Bond is just over $413 million, which should fund multiple projects if passed by voters.

Part of the Pond Proposal includes about $222 million for the Police Department projects, including a new police training academy that current directors say is needed due to lack of space.

“The issuance of $413,122,650 general obligation bonds for public safety facilities including police department and fire department motor vehicles and equipment and that taxes sufficient to pay the principal of and interest on the bonds will be imposed”

– City of El Paso “Proposition A” ballot language.

“On average, our classes have been large. We’re talking 60-70 recruits in the classroom and that’s pushing the limits of the classes we have now at times we can have two classes at the same time which means we have over 100 recruits here at the academy,” EPPD Academy Training Director Lt. Jason David Johnson told KTSM.

In addition to the academy, EPPD is also looking to upgrade the Central Regional Command Center which the current Commander says has a major safety flaw.

“Ideally we would like it more secure fenced in a little more, right now when we drop off prisoners it’s right off the street so we are in a compromising position. Generally, when other facilities drop off or bring prisoners in they’re in a secure area so there’s no issue of an escape,” Central Regional Commander Thomas Pena said.

If voters approve the bond, projects would be funded by the City issuance of general obligation bonds, which would be paid back over time from taxpayer dollars.

The City is hosting two additional meetings this week to discuss the bonds:

When:   11 a.m., Thursday, Oct. 17
Where:   El Paso Police Department Headquarters, 911 Raynor

When:   6 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 17
Where:   El Paso Police Department Headquarters, 911 Raynor

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