Last week, two critical community funding projects sought by the City of Santa Rosa were included in the overall Fiscal Year 2022-2023 appropriations spending bill that Congress approved. The projects receiving the federal support are:
- Emergency Operations Center (EOC), $1,000,000, Santa Rosa Fire Department
- inRESPONSE Mental Health Support Team, $1,052,000, Santa Rosa Police Department
The projects were supported by members of the City’s congressional delegation. Congressman Mike Thompson (CA-05) and U.S. Senators Dianne Feinstein and Alex Padilla led the effort to secure funding for a new EOC. Senators Feinstein and Padilla were instrumental in supporting funding for the inRESPONSE Mental Health Support Team for Santa Rosa Police Department, which launched earlier this year.
The city’s current EOC is “cold” and not available for immediate response operations. Since 2017, Santa Rosa has activated its “cold” EOC 13 times to respond to wildfire and other natural disaster events. A permanent location for the EOC will provide the community with improved continuity of operations and communications through any emergency.
Santa Rosa’s inRESPONSE Mental Health Support Team pairs a licensed mental health clinician from a local nonprofit provider with a nurse or EMT. The InRESPONSE team members help individuals who are chronically without shelter or struggling with mental health or substance dependency issues. InRESPONSE provides the community with a non-emergency option to respond to mental health related calls, including conflict resolution and welfare checks, avoiding costly ambulance transport and emergency room treatment. This federal funding will help accelerate the program’s work over the course of the year, eventually serving the community 24 hours a day and 7 days a week with multiple teams.
“I want to thank our federal partners for their immense help in securing this much-needed funding for Santa Rosa. The Construction of a permanent EOC will improve our community’s emergency management and preparedness capabilities. The funding for our new inRESPONSE team is an important shift to focus on supporting our community with appropriate mental health response services in partnership with Santa Rosa Police and mental health providers,” said Santa Rosa Mayor Chris Rogers.
“When disasters strike, as we know happens often in our community, government agencies must coordinate their response immediately. This federal funding will help with our efforts to coordinate immediate emergency response and preparedness activities,” said Santa Rosa Fire Chief Scott Westrope.
“InRESPONSE has already proven to be a tremendous success since the program’s launch in January. This additional funding underscores how important inRESPONSE is for the community and our department. InRESPONSE is the new model for our state and how policing is evolving to better meet the needs of Santa Rosa,” stated Santa Rosa Police Chief Rainer Navarro.
“I was happy to help secure this federal funding for Santa Rosa,” said Senator Dianne Feinstein. “This money will go a long way toward the establishment of the Santa Rosa Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program as well as upgrading the Santa Rosa Emergency Operations Center. I look forward to supporting more projects like these that will ensure Californians receive the best possible emergency services.”
“I am proud to secure funding for projects that will improve safety and preparedness across Santa Rosa,” Senator Alex Padilla said. “As climate change exacerbates wildfires, maintaining readiness is a necessity. A permanent emergency operations center will help city leaders respond to natural disasters, keeping services running and managing evacuations. This funding will also support a program to help the city better respond to those struggling with mental health challenges and substance abuse.”
“I am proud to have secured $1 million for Santa Rosa in the appropriations process to invest in wildfire and emergency response by creating a Permanent Emergency Operations Center,” said Congressman Mike Thompson. “Working with the City of Santa Rosa and other community partners, we can ensure that this center makes our communities safer and more secure. I look forward to seeing this funding improve the lives of every Santa Rosan.”