Daniel MAKES PUBLIC SAFETY A PRIORITY
Being on the frontline of reality as a first responder has made Daniel even more aware that threats to our safety, be it a crime, fire or accidents, don’t discriminate based on what neighborhood we reside in, age, race, gender, religion, income, or sexual orientation. Our public safety professionals need to be there for all of us.
Daniel has brought to City Hall his commitment to service and keeping our neighborhoods safe and vibrant from the unique vantage point of a first responder. He has applied that skillset to nearly every aspect of his work on the City Council. No matter the challenge, Daniel uses his skills as a problem solver and coalition builder to get things done.
In short, Daniel’s public safety experience has made him an even better Councilmember.
And it will make him an even better Mayor.
The Valenzuela Public Safety Record
As a member of the Phoenix City Council, Daniel has brought an increased focus on public safety to City Hall.
Daniel played a leadership role in lifting the City of Phoenix public safety hiring freeze that he inherited when he came into office. Even though our city continued to grow, Phoenix had not hired new police officers and firefighters for several years. Daniel collaborated with his Council colleagues to reprioritize the budget. He worked with Congressman Ed Pastor and others to pursue grants at the federal level, traveling to Washington to meet with Justice Department and Homeland Security officials to secure more than $50 million in Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS), Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER), and Urban Areas Security Initiative (UASI) grants. The result – the freeze was lifted years ahead of schedule with the hiring of much-needed police officers and firefighters. Today, there are more police officers patrolling our neighborhoods than when he joined the Council.
Daniel has been a leader in the development of innovative community policing programs that have supplemented traditional policing programs while building bridges between the community and public safety professionals. He forged a relationship between Grand Canyon University, the local community, and the Phoenix Police Department for a major financial commitment to boost police patrols in West Phoenix with one of the city’s highest crime rates. The result - the Canyon Corridor Crime Safety Initiative decreased crime in that 16 square mile region of the city by over 30 percent. With a dramatic decrease in crime, new neighborhood investment followed, reversing a steady decline in property values which over the course of the past six years has increased by nearly 30 percent.
As a member of the City Council, Daniel worked closely with over 80 neighborhood block watches led by community leaders in his West Phoenix Council district, directly involving residents in making their neighborhoods safe.
When he joined the Council, Daniel inherited the major challenge of an underfunded public safety pension system. In response, he Co-Chaired the Yes on Prop 124 statewide measure approved by Arizona voters by a 70-30 margin that instituted financial reforms to a system that was facing insolvency. More needs to be done to bring stability to the public safety pension system that is financially sound. Rather than just point the finger and blame others for this problem that ultimately impacts all taxpayers, Daniel is doing something about it.
As a member of the Council and its Public Safety Subcommittee, Daniel has been an aggressive advocate for policies and programs that have made our families and neighborhoods safer while maximizing the use of public safety tax dollars.
The advancement of the City of Phoenix online crime reporting program speeds investigations more quickly identifies growing pockets of crime and reduces record keeping costs so that dollars can be put to better use on the street where they are needed the most.
Expedited replacement of public safety vehicles equipped with state-of-the-art tools has provided our first responders with the resources they need to do their job, helps to ensure their own safety, and conserves tax dollars by reducing ongoing and expensive maintenance issues.
Construction of a new Phoenix Fire Training Academy replaced an antiquated facility that was no longer suitable for the needs of a growing city, providing traditional firefighter training along with hazmat and technical rescue training programs.
Development of a new centralized City of Phoenix public safety dispatch center is not only meeting the needs of our city but those of other communities in the valley. Nearly 30 fire departments across the valley are served through this efficient regional approach along with the added benefit of saving costs.
Daniel led efforts to create a pilot program in the Maryvale community of his City Council district to equip police officers with body cams that provide added safety for both the public as well as our first responders.
The Valenzuela Public Safety Doctrine
The primary responsibility of government at all levels is to keep us safe.
City government is no exception.
As a professional first responder himself, no candidate for Mayor is more knowledgeable or more qualified to fulfill the responsibility of keeping us, our families and neighborhoods safe.
The Valenzuela Public Safety Doctrine is more than just a set of ideas. It is his commitment to the residents of Phoenix, those who invest in our community and our first responders that public safety is and will be his top priority.
The Hiring of More First Responders – Daniel’s leadership role in lifting the city’s public safety hiring freeze was just a first step. He will remain committed to the city policy he helped craft of the sustained hiring of police officers and firefighters to meet the growing needs of the nation’s fifth largest city.
Daniel supports aggressive local recruitment efforts. Our police and firefighter forces must reflect our diverse community, ensuring that sensitivity to gender and ethnicity is incorporated into recruitment strategies.
In supplementing local recruitment efforts, Daniel supports innovative nationwide strategies to meet hiring goals and attract the best possible dedication and talent to keep our community safe, such as efforts targeting universities producing public safety professionals and returning veterans transitioning to civilian life who are particularly suited to join the ranks of Phoenix public safety professionals.
Public Safety Pension Reform – More reforms are needed to further advance reforms adopted on the state and local levels that Daniel has championed to stabilize the underfunded public safety pension system program.
Expansion of Community Policing Programs – Our police have a tough job and can’t be everywhere. As Mayor, Daniel will continue his efforts that he initiated when he first came to City Hall as a member of the City Council and expand the city’s block watch program to all corners of Phoenix.
The highly successful Canyon Corridor Crime Safety Initiative Daniel developed in his City Council district by forging a partnership between Grand Canyon University, the Phoenix Police Department, and the community has been widely praised for its effectiveness in reducing crime in the area by over 30 percent. As Mayor, Daniel will seek to create more of this community policing programs with the business community because such partnerships not only extend public safety tax dollars but WORK!
Equip All Police Officers With Body Cams – The pilot program Daniel led to provide police patrolling his City Council district with body cams has proven to be a wise investment that protects both first responders and the public. Daniel is committed to seeing that every Phoenix police officer is equipped with this valuable technology.
Keeping Schools Safe – Daniel supports the expansion of the city’s successful School Resource Officers (SRO) program for those districts and schools that want them. Daniel knows that SROs aren’t a fit for every school. That’s a decision for school district leadership to make. As Mayor, he is committed to ensuring that every child is safe at school through a greater level of cooperation between our school district leaders and public safety professionals, such as the creation of a dedicated anti-bullying hotline.
Maximizing Technology – As technology continues to rapidly advance, so too should our public safety tools. Electronic “charting” of accident victims, for example, places vital records in the hands of medical professionals even before a patient arrives at the hospital emergency room. Meanwhile, body cam capabilities can be expanded to immediately capture and record evidence and documents in the hands of police in the field. Wise use of emerging technology promotes efficiencies and cost savings, enhances the safety of our first responders, and expands our ability to keep the public safe.