In May 2017, City of Tucson voters approved a half-cent sales tax to fund road repair and public safety improvements for five years within the City. The tax became effective July 1, 2017, and is expected to generate $250 million in revenue. The City has branded this program the Tucson Delivers: Better Streets, Safer City program, and the benefits are well underway.

To give voters assurance that the revenues generated through this tax would be spent as promised, the Mayor and Council appointed two oversight commissions to oversee the implementation of the plans.

These plans have projects and acquisitions that positively affect Southeast Tucson and, more specifically, the northeast section of the Vail School District that falls within City boundaries. The most immediate progress relates to public safety.

A new east side annex substation is part of this plan. Initial planning and programming for this annex has started. The new building will be located adjacent to Fire Station 19, 9700 E. Esmond Loop, next to Purple Heart Park.

Officers who serve this area out of Operations Division East already have received three new patrol vehicles and will receive 13 more in the first year of the program. These units have new laptops and printers. The program will also fund the installation of in-vehicle camera systems. The cameras will be in addition to the body-worn cameras that already have been deployed throughout the department as part of Tucson Delivers. As the program continues over the coming years, more new patrol units will be arriving to replace old high-mileage patrol units.

The program already has funded the replacement of ballistic vests for officers whose existing vests were beyond the manufacturer’s recommended age. Thirty officers in the Operations Division East received new vests to replace their expired ones. Vest replacements will continue throughout the program.

Tucson firefighters have received new personal protective equipment, known as turnout gear to keep them safe when working in hazardous conditions. Ninety-eight firefighters received new turnouts, and replacement for other firefighters will continue throughout the program.
Tucson Delivers will provide new fire apparatus to several of the fire stations serving the Vail School District area. Two stations within the area are programmed to receive renovations to provide dedicated space for the storage of turnout gear when not in use, and workout space will be separate from the apparatus bay to reduce exposure to exhaust and carcinogens.

The first year of Tucson Delivers is nearly complete, and it is exciting to see the progress already made to provide for a safer community within the Vail School District area.


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