A measure calling for a half-cent sales tax increase will appear on Chula Vista's June ballot.
If voters pass the tax increase, it could bring an additional $17 million a year to the city's police and fire departments.
The Chula Vista Police Department (CVPD) ranks among the lowest-staffed in California. Staffing levels are 12 percent lower than 10 years ago, making it the lowest sworn officer-to-population ratio in the County.
"While our officers do an incredible job keeping our community safe, we have great concerns about our delayed response times and our ability to provide the community the service that they deserve," said Chula Vista Police Chief Roxana Kennedy.
The Fire Department isn't faring any better.
Chula Vista Fire Department (CVFD) firefighters are struggling to get to emergencies in time due to similar staffing shortage issues. The CVFD has failed to meet the national response time goal for six years in a row.
"We want to get to folks in time, whether you're wearing a firefighter badge or a peace officer badge," said Darrell Roberts, President of Chula Vista Firefighters Local 2180. "We want to get to you in some of the worst times when you're calling 911, and unfortunately, that just hasn't been the case in the city of Chula Vista. We want to change that."
The measure will be on the ballot June 5, 2018.
If it passes, the money will be split evenly between Police and Fire.
Roberts said the fire department would be able to hire almost 100 firefighters over the next eight to 10 years, which would nearly double their current staffing levels.
Chula Vista voters recently approved Measure P, which is a temporary, 10-year, half-cent sales tax that will bring in funding used solely for infrastructure needs.
That sales tax increase went into effect in April of 2017.