Public safety one of many goals for 2020, says El Paso leaders

Police responded to reports of a stabbing in the 440 block of Lawrence Street in northeast El Paso. (Credit: KFOX14/CBS4)

El Paso officials gathered Thursday to discuss how the city will grow within the next 3 years.

Public safety made its way to the front of discussions.

City council, the mayor and the city manager gathered with the heads of all city departments to break down the 20 key projects and goals it has for the next three years. One of those is having an additional 120 officers for the police department by 2020.

City manager Tommy Gonzalez told KFOX14 the city wants 300 more officers over the next 10 years.

It plans to get nearly halfway there in three years.

The city said it plans to spend $4.1 million on improving the equipment and fleet of all public safety groups.

It also plans to do annual vehicle replacements as well.

Gonzalez said the reason for this extra emphasis is because of the overall growth El Paso is trying to do.

"When you grow like that, you have to grow your police force how you grow your fire safety. You have to look that as a hand and glove. You can't do one without the other," Gonzalez said. "I think a good example of that is how we've increased the amount of personnel downtown."

Gonzalez and chief financial officer Mark Sutter said city also will use money to renovate existing buildings to make them for police and fire departments.

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