Public Safety Referendum
April 4, 2023 (Spring Election), the Village will pose a referendum question requesting a Village Levy increase for the purpose of providing for 24/7 police services by hiring additional Police Officers to serve our community.
To Hire More Police Officers and Provide 24/7 Police Protection to the Village
The Village of West Salem has identified current public safety funding to be insufficient to meet the community’s growing service demands and needs.
For the past decade, the State of Wisconsin has frozen municipal tax levies, limiting levy growth to the percentage of new construction value added in the previous year. Over the last five-years, the value of the Village of West Salem has increased $21,900,000. Over that same five-year period, the State has only allowed us to increase taxes by $66,700 (an average of $13,340 per year).
Thus, the only option for more revenue is to propose a municipal levy increase via referendum.
A permanent increase of $500,000 will provide the community with 3 additional Police Officers, which will allow for 24/7 police coverage. The investment in our Police Department will help provide for faster response times, greater efficiencies, and a more effective response to crime through proactive and community oriented policing. Additionally, this will increase officer safety and provide an overall safer community.
The police calls for service have increased from approximately 4,000 per year in 2012 to approximately 8,000 in 2022, an increase of 100%. This is not sustainable with our current staff resources.
Over the last several years, there has been an increase in, not only the volume of calls, but also their severity and complexity which requires more time and resources to investigate. Because of this increase in calls for service, our officers have been forced to become more reactive. This impacts both officer and community safety.