Olympia to weigh extra summertime patrols

Boosting security downtown and in parks highlights agenda for Tuesday’s meeting

ahobbs@theolympian.comMay 5, 2014 

The Olympia City Council will consider funding more downtown police patrols and park security during its 7 p.m. meeting Tuesday at City Hall.

Olympia police want to expand the downtown walking patrol ahead of an expected summertime increase in criminal activity.

The department currently provides walking patrols seven days a week during business hours. The patrol consists of two officers with a supervisor who covers the gaps. According to a city staff report, an additional $40,000 will allow police to extend the walking patrol from 5-9 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings. If funded, the extra patrol will run from May through mid-September and will be covered by officers working overtime, according to the city.

The city’s parks department is asking for $10,000 to pay for extra summer patrols at three heavily used public areas: Artesian Commons, Percival Landing and The Olympia Center. The parks department has proposed a contract with Pacific Coast/Pierce County Security for the patrols, according to the city.

Other agenda items:

 • The council is expected to accept a grant for $183,070 from the state Department of Commerce. The money will go toward installation of 92 solar panels on the roof at City Hall. The city will contribute $50,000 to the project and estimates an annual energy savings of $2,500, according to a staff report.

 • The council will hold a second reading for an ordinance that would allocate $50,000 toward planning for the proposed Community Renewal Area. The CRA is an economic development tool that allows cities to initiate projects with private property owners. The council has not yet adopted the CRA, which is intended to address several blighted properties in downtown Olympia, including derelict buildings on the isthmus. The city plans to hold several workshops and public hearings this year regarding the process.

 • The council will issue a proclamation that designates May as Bicycle Commuter Month. The proclamation encourages residents to ride their bikes to work, school and errands as a way to save energy, reduce congestion, improve health and make use of the city’s “bicycle network.”

Andy Hobbs: 360-704-6869 ahobbs@theolympian.com

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