Paul’s Note: Friday, January 18th, 2019

Paul’s Note
Friday, January 18th, 2019
 
Paul’s Note
Pet of the Week
Ward 3 Events
City-Wide Events
Did You Know?
 
Paul’s Note
 
TPD Staffing and Retention Progress
 
I got an email a few days ago from Chief Magnus of TPD with good news on the success of the Retention Program included in the budget for the current fiscal year which the Council unanimously approved last spring and which was effective July 1, 2018. The Retention Program was a series of raises targeted to the police officer ranks where our loss of officers to avoidable attrition was the greatest.
 
Before the Retention Program was adopted, we were losing eight to nine officers a month. It’s normal to lose a few officers a month due to unavoidable attrition—retirements or an officer’s spouse gets a job in another city, etc. Historically, unavoidable attrition averaged about six officers a month. This difference between avoidable and unavoidable attrition adds up to 24 to 36 officers a year. It is nearly impossible to recruit and train enough officers to keep up with this attrition rate, and as I’ve said many times before, every time we lose an officer to avoidable attrition that is thousands of dollars of training costs and experience walking out the door. It is no way to run any City department or any business.
 
Here’s the good news: From July through December, 2018, the attrition rate dropped significantly, averaging 4.2 officers a month. Even better, if you look at September through December, 2018, the attrition rate was 2.25 officers a month. This is a very significant improvement.
 
There are currently 802 sworn, deployable officers at TPD—that’s not so good news. But the Council last year also increased the targets for the recruitment and training of new officers. The result is that there are 83 sworn staff in various stages of the training pipeline. The training pipeline is comprised of new officers in the basic academy, post-basic program or the field training program.
 
What this means is that if you take our deployable sworn positions, 802, and add the 83 officers in the training pipeline, you get a total of 885 officers. Later this month, the police academy will add 34 TPD recruits, taking our total staffing to 919 officers. That is remarkable progress in about a year!
 
When we were considering the current fiscal year budget last spring, I let my colleagues on the Council and City Manager Ortega know that the avoidable attrition rates at TPD were unacceptable. Frankly, I’m a little bit surprised by the tremendous success of the Retention Program and the increase in recruitment and training. I hope these efforts continue to be so effective in decreasing attrition losses and increasing the sworn TPD officers on the streets of Tucson. I’ll keep you posted.
 
Housing First
 
I joined OPCS (AKA Old Pueblo Community Services) for their 2nd Annual Forum on Housing First on Wednesday. In the afternoon leaders in the private sector and in homeless service organizations convened for a provocative conversation on how we can move to end chronic homelessness. Before I get into that, let me share some background with you.
 
On Wednesday, I had the benefit of speaking with Dr. Sam Tsemberis of Columbia University. Sam both coined the term and developed the “Housing First” approach in 1992. Evidence shows that Housing First is very effective at meeting the needs of the 10-20% of people experiencing homelessness who are “chronically homeless”. How does it do that? Well, Housing First assumes that when you engage with an individual dealing with chronic homelessness that you must respect their ability to identify what their primary needs are. For most, housing becomes the first need—thus, the name “housing first”. I highly recommend that you take eleven minutes to watch Sam’s TEDx talk that runs through Housing First.
 
But Housing First is not simply about housing, as this housing must be paired with an individualized service array to address the unique needs of the person. So Housing First is not Housing Only. This is a really critical piece and one that is a challenge for us in Tucson. As a City, we have invested in housing vouchers for individuals experiencing chronic homelessness, of which there are currently approximately 300 persons in Tucson. We have over 200 of these vouchers going unused because, as a community, we have not figured out is how to fund the costs related to case management and coordinated service teams that are so critical to the success of the Housing First approach. As a consequence, we have not been able to scale up to end chronic homelessness due to a lack of nonprofit services providers who are able to provide the paired services.
 
Wednesday’s forum laid bare both the great resources we have available as well as where the deficits lay. It also laid bare some of the frustrations of our nonprofit providers who often feel they do not receive the funds necessary to adequately support their staff. I would add that those working in Housing First must not only undergo a significant paradigm shift but they must also have a much lower patient load so as to deliver higher levels of support. This is hard work and it needs to be sustainable for the critical case managers and care providers involved.
 
I want to thank OPCS for getting the conversation going on Wednesday. It was a rich and thought-provoking discussion. OPCS’s commitment and success in the Housing First approach is a helpful guide for us moving forward. I also want to thank Mayor Rothschild and County Administrator Huckleberry for committing to keep the conversation going. I am personally interested in seeing who are the residents, non-profits and businesses who will join us as champions to work to end chronic homelessness. As Tom Litwicki, CEO of OPCS, has shared with me, we can end chronic homelessness—it’s a matter of having the right resources and partners at the table. I hope you’ll join me.
 
Amphitheater Governing Board Inauguration
 
On Tuesday, I attended the swearing in ceremony of Matt Kopec to the Amphitheater School Board, whose district boundaries cover much of Ward 3. Matt is an Aide in my office and I am glad for the opportunity for our office and the City to collaborate with Amphi because strengthening our partnership with education providers can help build the greater community.
 
Going forward, I look forward to working with Matt and the rest of the Amphi Board to explore ways we can both support early childhood programs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. These are just two examples of issues that greatly affect both the school district and the City. 
 
 
Matt Kopec with Chief Judge Peter Eckerstrom administering the oath of office
 
Meeting with 8th Graders from Khalsa Montessori School
 
 
Council Member Durham and the engaged students from Khalsa Montessori School
 
Last week, a group of 8th grade students from Khalsa Montessori School asked to meet with me to discuss banning the use of single-use plastic bags in the City of Tucson. We had a great discussion about the Legislature’s ban on cities’ ability to pass environmental policies like a plastic bag ban and how climate change will affect their generation.
 
I told them that I won’t be around by the time the effects of climate change become disastrous - but they will. It was a refreshing discussion and I wish them success with their advocacy. Although the eight of us aren’t able to undo actions by the Legislature overnight, I was able to talk about other environmental policies that Tucson is pursing like expanded solar energy and electric busses.
 
Some Saturday Fun
 
 
Council Member Durham and Elderberry Goodwinkle (AKA Cathleen Straley) meet with families during a scavenger hunt at the Valley of the Moon
 
In addition to meeting with the young people from Khalsa Montessori last week, on Saturday I joined area families out enjoying the scavenger hunt as part of the BEYOND events this year. I want to thank all the great volunteers (including Elderberry Goodwinkle pictured above) for their contribution.
 
Ward 3 Open House!
 
Lastly, I hope you can join us for our Ward 3 Open House on Wednesday, January 30th from 5:30-7pm. It’s at our office located at 1510 E Grant Road. It’ll be a great opportunity to meet your neighbors and talk with me and my staff. I hope to see you all there.
 
 
- Paul D.
 
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Pet of the Week
 
Marky
 
 
Marky is a 4-year-old Staffordshire Bull Terrier mix. He weighs in at about 65 pounds and most of that comes from his huge heart. Marky has been at Pima Animal Care Center since right after Christmas so that means that his adoption fees are waived! Free unconditional love, what more can you ask for? To find out how to adopt Marky go to the PACC website here. Or better yet, visit PACC at 4000 N Silverbell Rd to meet him in person.   
 
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Ward 3 Events
 
Dinner will be provided.
Please RSVP by visiting: http://evite.me/NWeZ47xW4D
 
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Ward 3 Neighborhood Association/Coalition Meetings:
 
Grant Road Coalition
Tuesday
January 22nd  
6-8 pm
Ward 3 Council Office
1510 E Grant Rd
 
Jefferson Park
Wednesday
January 23rd
6 pm
Ward 3 Council Office
1510 E Grant Rd
 
Amphi Coalition
Thursday
January 24th 
4 pm
Literacy Connects
200 E Yavapai Rd
 
 
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City-Wide Events:
 
Women’s March Tucson
Sunday
January 20th
10 am-2 pm
Jacome Plaza
N Stone Ave/W Pennington St
 
Join me there. I’ll be marching for equal opportunity and equal pay for women everywhere.
 
 
Free Admission to Zoom…Zoom! At the Children’s Museum
 
Saturday
January 20th
10 am-2 pm
Children’s Museum Tucson
200 S 6th Ave
 
Celebrate the many modes of transportation at Zoom…Zoom! hosted by Children’s Museum Tucson.
Kids can climb on bicycles, construction and bucket trucks, go-karts, police and fire vehicles, city buses, garbage trucks, and more. There also will be opportunities to try a zip line and stilt walking. S 6th Ave, in front of the museum, will be blocked off to traffic. Admission to the museum will be free all day Saturday. For more information, call (520) 792-9985.
Children’s Museum Tucson: http://bit.ly/2QSIM64  
Zoom…Zoom! Facebook page: http://bit.ly/2sxcDra   
 
Martin Luther King March
 
Monday
January 21st
8 am
Bridges U of A Tech Park to Reid Park
Celebrations at Reid Park are from 10 am-3 pm.
 
A Brush with Kindness
 
A Brush with Kindness is a program of Habitat for Humanity Tucson that partners with residents to improve the appearance of their neighborhoods, strengthen connections within the community, and help preserve affordable housing. The program also helps low-income homeowners, who struggle to maintain the exterior of their homes, to reclaim their homes with pride and dignity. Partners repay a portion of cost of materials based on a sliding scale and ability.
 
If you need some minor home repair, the types of services that are provided include painting, landscaping, fence repairs, yard cleanup and other minor repairs.
 
To learn more about the program call 520-326-1217 ext. 209 or go to habitattucson.org
  
Tucson Gem Show
 
You can find everything from rare diamonds to boxes made of petrified wood. Dealers specialize in loose stones, jewelry, African art, beads, polished stones, minerals, fossils, and gifts. Check the listings at the gem show main page for more information http://www.tgms.org/show/ .
 
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Did You Know...?
 
Ward 3 Holiday Hours
 
Please note that the Ward 3 Council Office will be closed on Monday, January 21st in honor of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. We will reopen on Tuesday, January 22nd.
 
Tucson Police Department Recruiting Trainees
 
The Tucson Police Department (TPD) is accepting applications for police officer trainees. Once recruited, a trainee attends the police academy to learn skills and practices, assists with performing patrol duties, responds to routine and emergency calls with another officer, and assists with crime prevention. The training process is 22 weeks long and requires a high level of commitment and time dedication. The deadline to apply is January 20th. Successful candidates from this testing period will be considered for any funded academy classes within the next six months. The earliest academy to be filled from this list will be May 2019.
Police Officer Recruitment: http://bit.ly/2QTjOI4
Tucson Police Department: http://1.usa.gov/1YcQrfv
 
Watershed Management Group Volunteer Opportunities
 
 
New volunteers will learn proper techniques in rain garden maintenance and care, engage in the WMG culture, and get oriented to their monthly responsibilities in their communities. For more information go to their website at https://watershedmg.org/advocacy/monsoon-squad
 
Utility Bill Assistance for Customers Affected by the Federal Government Shutdown
 
Tucson Water Customer Service has been receiving phone calls and e-mails this week asking whether the City of Tucson or Tucson Water offers any options or assistance for utility services charges to federal employees during the shutdown.
 
Tucson Water has a program that offers an automatic 21-day extension on payment for charges on a utility services statement. The program is available through the Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The customer can call (520) 791-3242 and follow the prompts. The customer should have his or her account number available to enter. Customers may also e-mail their request to TW_Web1@tucsonaz.gov.
 
If the request for payment extension is due to the federal government shutdown, the customer can also include any federal government correspondence that asks for leniency or flexibility in meeting payment obligations, though this is not mandatory to receive the extension.
 
This feature is available to all customers. It went live on November 30th. Since that date, more than 2,200 customers have filed extensions.
 
If a customer needs additional time beyond the 21 days (for any reason), he or she must contact Customer Service directly by phone at (520) 791-3242 and follow the prompts to speak to a Customer Service Representative.
 
2020 Census: Why Should You Care?
 
 
Saturday
January 19th
9:30-10 am social time
10-11:45 am panel
Valencia Library
202 W Valencia Rd,
Free parking
 
  • Why is it so important to be counted in the 2020 Census? 
  • Do you have to answer the citizenship question? 
  • What are the different ways to fill out the Census form? 
  • What happens if you don’t fill one out? 
  • The public is invited and employment opportunities with the U.S. Census Bureau will be discussed
 
Hear from experts who will answer these questions about the Census and others from the audience. 
 
El Censo de EE. UU. De 2020:  ¿Por qué le Debería Importar?
 
 
19 de enero
9:30-10  am hora social
10: 00-11: 45 am panel
Biblioteca de Valencia
202 W Valencia Rd
Estacionamiento gratuito
 
  • ¿Por qué es tan importante contar en el censo de 2020?
  • ¿Hay que responder a la pregunta de ciudadanía?
  • ¿Cuáles son las diferentes formas de llenar el formulario del Censo?
  • ¿Qué pasa si no llenas el formulario?
  • Se invita al público a participar y oportunidades de empleo con la Oficina del Censo de los EE. UU serán discutidas
 
Escuche a los expertos que responderán a estas preguntas y a cualquier otra que tenga sobre el próximo Censo. 
 
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Council Member Paul Durham is on Social Media!
 
Ward 3 has Facebook and Twitter pages so you can keep up with our Council Member and stay in touch with what's happening in Tucson and around the Ward.
 
Please "Like" us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMPaulDurham/
Please "Follow" us on Twitter: @CMPaul_Durham
 
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