Roseville could add four new police officers and three new firefighters in 2020 to help respond to a rising number of calls for service.
City Manager Patrick Trudgeon included the seven public safety positions in his proposed $62.6 million budget that will be considered this fall by the City Council.
That's a 12.8% increase over this year's budget, and would be partly paid for with a 5.5% increase in the tax levy. A median-valued Roseville home worth $272,000 would see an annual property tax increase of $80.
Though the city has 36,400 residents, an additional 35,000 people travel there each day for work; on top of that, Rosedale Center attracts 14 million visitors annually. That influx of people requires an increased investment in public safety, Trudgeon said.
Police calls for service in Roseville have climbed from 33,600 in 2015 to 42,100 last year, according to city documents.
One of the new police officers would be an investigator dedicated to sex crimes. Ramsey County Attorney John Choi has agreed to pay for that position for one year as part of a larger effort to improve the investigation and prosecution of sex crimes.
Police Chief Rick Mathwig said the goal is to build on efforts already underway to make sure all sex-crimes investigations are thorough and responsive to survivors.
The new investigator position also would help expand the department's efforts to combat sex trafficking. Roseville police periodically conduct sting operations; one such sting on a recent Tuesday afternoon resulted in 44 contacts with men seeking illegal sex services, Mathwig said.
"I think we will have more sex-trafficking cases developed with these additional resources," Mathwig said.
The other proposed officers would patrol the city and respond to calls. One of those positions would fall under the Commitment to Diversity program, which is designed to promote an existing Roseville community-service officer, police cadet or reserve officer to full-time police status.
If the City Council approves all four new police positions, the department will grow to 52 sworn officers. The cost for the four officers next year would be just under $300,000, according to budget documents.
Trudgeon said he also wants to add three firefighters to continue the department's transition from a part-time, on-call model to a full-time professional firefighting force.
If the three positions are approved by the City Council, it will increase the number of full-time firefighters to 20. The cost of the three new firefighters is around $220,000 a year.
A big part of the proposed budget increase is $5 million to begin making critical repairs to the Guidant John Rose Minnesota Oval. The Oval, built in 1993, is the largest outdoor refrigerated skating facility in the world. The city is seeking state bonding to cover that cost because the Oval is a regional draw and a statewide asset, Trudgeon said.