PUEBLO, Colo. - For the next five years, a one-fifth of a cent sales tax is headed to the Pueblo Police Department, so it can hire 24 news officers, which the department has desperately needed for a while.
"We won't be perfect overnight, by any stretch of the imagination, but we're committed," said Police Chief Troy Davenport
But it's only been three weeks since Election Day, and Davenport said this is a process that is going to take some time. Within the first year 13 officers will be hired, but the rest won't be added until 2020.
"To put officers out there without the right amount of training would be irresponsible and so it will take us some time," Davenport said.
He said the biggest problem the department hopes to tackle is response times.
"It's not acceptable. It's right around 13 minutes. And I want that to be below 10 minutes, 90 percent of the time," Davenport said.
Davenport said he also wants to work on a few other issues Pueblo has seen this year, including drugs, gangs and traffic fatalities.
City Councilman Steve Nawrocki has been pushing for this tax increase for a few years and says he's very thankful it passed.
"People deserve to feel as safe as possible in their homes, their neighborhoods and wherever they go shopping," Nawrocki said.
The tax will go into effect in 2018 and the first officers funded by the sales tax will be on the streets by next fall.