The City of Tacoma is seeking proposals to study Tacoma Police Department staffing, examining how the department can best deploy its personnel, continue efforts to reduce crime, respond to calls for service, and engage the community, according to the city’s Request for Proposals (RFP).

Proposals from qualified firms are due by 11 a.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 19. A firm will be recommended by Dec. 6, after which a contract will be awarded. The selected firm will be asked to study the department early in 2020 and deliver a final report, including justification for recommendations, to the city by April 30.

The Police Department, with a two-year budget exceeding $182 million, has 365 sworn police officers and a civilian work force of about 40 non-sworn professionals. It has seven collective bargaining units representing 99 percent of the department staffing, according to the RFP.

The reason for the study?

“I think it’s just a good practice that every once in a while we have an outside party just come in and take a look at how we’re currently staffing and the resources that we are currently utilizing as well as our workloads, just to make sure that we’re being as … effective and efficient as possible,” said Tadd Wille, deputy city manager. He also is interested to see if there’s anything Tacoma can do better.

According to the RFP:

  • The staffing analysis will include evaluating and analyzing the number of officers assigned to patrol vs. non-patrol functions; analyzing department support functions and rank structure; developing strategies to improve efficiency and effectiveness; identifying services that may be added, eliminated, combined or regionalized; and preparing recommendations for improvement.
  • The gap analysis, using workload evaluation/analysis, will compare the “as is” state of the department to identified efficiencies and recommendations developed through the staffing analysis/workload evaluation.

The review of union contracts will identify mandatory bargaining subjects related to any recommendation or strategy.

Thumbnail photo by Matt Popovich on Unsplash