The City’s 2015-2016 Adopted Biennial Budget reflects a continued commitment to strong financial responsibility and is a framework for how the City plans to use its resources to serve the community. Through careful financial management and recurring revenues and targeted reductions, the Adopted Budget for 2015-2016 is balanced and allows the City to maintain current levels of service.

Additionally, the 2015-2016 Adopted Budget provides funding for deferred maintenance (such as City facilities and information technology) and strategic infrastructure investments (including street maintenance, repair, and capital projects). Through the use of one-time savings from 2013-2014, the City will also fund one-time reinvestment and redevelopment efforts to respond to residents’ desire for a walkable community and vibrant business districts.

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The “Other” category includes small departments such as Human Resources, Hearing Examiner, City Manager’s Office, City Council, Government Relations, Finance, Municipal Court, and the City Attorney’s Office. It also includes Non-Departmental funding which supports the City’s Debt Service payments, community events in Tacoma, Metro Parks operations, Fire and Police Pension and Medical costs, the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department, the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency, and transfers to internal funds that require General Fund support, for example: Parking Fund, Streets Fund, Convention Center and Dome.

Planning and Development

This program manages and processes amendments to the City’s Comprehensive Plan and Land Use Regulatory Code, and conducts policy and planning analysis relating to the development of land use, transportation, housing and environmental regulations and policy. The program is also responsible for providing coordination with state and regional planning agencies to ensure consistency and compliance with the Washington State Growth Management Act (GMA), Puget Sound Regional Council Vision 2040, Shoreline Management Act (SMA), State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) and Pierce County Countywide Planning Policies. The Historic Preservation Office oversees the designation of historic properties, historic and conservation districts, and administers land use regulations relating to the design, demolition and construction of properties in historic and conservation districts. The program also administers historic tax credits for the renovation of historic properties in Tacoma.


The Tacoma Police Department creates safe and secure environments for Tacoma’s residents, businesses and visitors, by enforcing the law in a fair and impartial manner to safeguard constitutional guarantees, while working with the community to preserve peace and order in Tacoma’s neighborhoods.

Operations Bureau

The Operations Bureau’s Patrol team handles around the clock patrol coverage of Tacoma’s neighborhoods. Patrol officers respond to emergency and non-emergency calls for service and conduct initial investigations of crimes. The Bureau handles special event planning and management for the City of Tacoma. The Community Policing team focuses on prevention and crime reduction through innovative and proactive collaborative efforts with the community and various public and private entities. The Special Teams unit includes SWAT, Bomb Squad, Special Response Team, Marine Services Unit, K-9, Search and Rescue, Dive Team and Hazardous Environment Team employees. The Homeland Security team is responsible for coordination, collection, analysis and planning of intelligence related to law enforcement efforts.

Investigations Bureau

The Investigations Bureau shall conduct follow-up investigations of crimes against persons and property, prioritized by the seriousness of the offense, availability of personnel, and factors related to the solvability of crimes, patterns and trends. The Violent Crimes Section is comprised of the Homicide Unit and Special Assaults Unit. The Major Crimes Section investigates career criminals, and deals with special victims, financial crimes and arson. The Special Investigations Section handles narcotics and vice related criminal activity. The Forensic Services Section supports the Investigations Bureau and Patrol Division in processing crime scenes and related evidence.

Jail, Dispatch and Contracted Services

Jail Dispatch and Contracted Services works with Pierce County Jail and the City of Fife for booking, confinement and court escort fees. The Pierce County Juvenile Courts team handles in-processing fees, booking and photography equipment. The Humane Society and Animal Emergency Hospital team handles the City’s repository for found, injured and dangerous animals.

Traffic Enforcement

Traffic Enforcement handles photo traffic enforcement, proactive and strategic enforcement of local and state traffic laws, and the investigation of traffic accidents to include serious or fatal collisions.


The Tacoma Fire Department protects people, property and the environment.

911 Dispatch & Emergency Communications

The Tacoma Fire Department operates a 911 call center, providing initial dispatch and emergency incident communications for the Tacoma Fire Department, Central Pierce Fire and Rescue and rural/metro private ambulance. The center is staffed with uniformed firefighters, all certified as emergency medical technicians and emergency medical dispatchers.

Emergency Management

The Emergency Management Program handles preparation, mitigation, response and recovery from disasters or catastrophes impacting our community. Emergency Management staff coordinates activities for City of Tacoma departments responsible for continued operations during disasters and agreements for the use of resources. They also communicate with state and federal agencies, and provide education and training to residents and City employees on disaster preparedness.

Fire Administration and Support Services

Fire Administration and Support Services handles the general administration and management of Tacoma Fire Department resources. Support services are functions that maintain the Tacoma Fire Department’s operations, including training, vehicle maintenance, electrical maintenance and information and communication technology support.

Fire Prevention

Firefighters assigned to fire prevention conduct technical inspections required for hazardous and high occupancy buildings, such as hospitals and multi-family apartment buildings. Fire Prevention personnel also investigate fires, issue permits for fire protection systems and review new construction plans for adherence to safety codes.

Fire Suppression and Emergency Medical Services

Firefighters assigned to engine, squad, and ladder companies serve as first-responders to all emergency incidents, including structure, vehicle and grass fires. They respond to all emergency medical incidents and initiate medical treatment and patient extrication before paramedics arrive. They also conduct basic fire safety inspections for over 5,000 residential, commercial and industrial buildings annually.


The Tacoma Public Library enhances Tacoma’s diverse citizenry by providing access to ideas and perspectives from around the world and, through innovative library services, stimulate the development of literacy, knowledge, wisdom, critical thought, and valuable interaction that yields positive experiences and a thriving community.

Branch Library Services

The Tacoma Public Library provides access to books, information, educational resources and the internet to Tacoma residents through a downtown main library, two regional libraries in the north and south of the city, and five neighborhood libraries. The Library provides special programs, workshops and events to meet the needs of children, teens, families and adults. Through reciprocal agreements with neighboring library districts, the Library provides Tacoma residents with additional access to a variety of materials and information resources.

Access to Library Facilities

The Tacoma Public Library’s downtown main library is currently open 54 hours each week, and offers a special collection of Northwest history resources, a digital media lab for teens and a 12-station computer classroom for public training workshops. The Library also offers access to seven neighborhood libraries that are each open 40 hours each week. All facilities include story times and programs for children, teens and families, homework help, book clubs, lectures and educational workshops.

Access to Library Collections

The Tacoma Public Library offers access to content in traditional formats including books, magazines, newspapers, maps, photographs, compact discs and DVDs. It also offers access to digital databases and services including interactive homework help, career and employment materials, and a growing collection of downloadable eBooks, music and other material.

Access to Computers and the Internet

Access to internet resources through computers is available in eight Tacoma Public Library facilities, including 47 public workstations at the downtown main library and 17 at the Mottet Library. The Tacoma Public Library also offers wireless internet connectivity and remote access through its online catalog, information databases and other virtual services. And, through a variety of social media tools including Facebook, Twitter, blogs, a YouTube channel and Pinterest, the Library interfaces with the public.

Public Works - Streets

The Public Works Department provides essential services to enhance quality of life for Tacoma’s residents in a fair, responsive, sustainable and cost-effective manner. Public Works employees work hard to cultivate an open and engaged partnership with customers, while maintaining a consistent emphasis on satisfying the needs of the community.

Facilities Management

Facilities Management works on issues relating to maintenance, small remodels and the management of external contracts for janitorial, security and other facilities related services. They also provide services and support to various City of Tacoma departments on capital projects, which include new facilities, remodels, renovations and major system upgrades.

Street Maintenance and Operations

Street Operations is responsible for the operation and maintenance of 857 lane miles of arterial streets, 8,610 blocks of residential streets, 75,000 street signs, 320 traffic signals, 21,000 streetlights, 20 City-owned parks, 4.68 miles of walking, hiking, biking trails, and 109 right-of-way locations throughout Tacoma. This division is also responsible for maintaining gravel alleys, 57 blocks of gravel streets and the maintenance of open storm drainage ditches. And, during natural disasters, they are responsible for closing severely damaged roads and bridges.

Neighborhood and Community Services

The Neighborhood and Community Services Department works to build healthy and successful neighborhoods and households through the protection of human rights, code compliance, community problem-solving, and indirect and direct services which include human services and services for the elderly and youth.

Code Compliance

Code Compliance is responsible for ensuring that property owners maintain compliance with the Tacoma Municipal Code to protect the health, safety and welfare of Tacoma’s residents. Examples of day-to-day enforcement actions include: litter and debris, junk and abandoned vehicles, dangerous and derelict buildings, graffiti, overgrown vegetation and business license violations.

Community Based Services

Community Based Services works to further the City of Tacoma’s goal of creating and maintaining safe, clean and attractive neighborhoods by engaging the community, and ensuring that City services are aligned with community priorities.

Contract Services: Funding to External Agencies

The Neighborhood and Community Services Department manages the allocation of both General Fund and federal funding to community and human service agencies including application, contract development and program evaluation.

Gang Reduction

The Tacoma Gang Reduction Project coordinates community and local government responses through the development and oversight of prevention, intervention, suppression and systems change strategies for at-risk and gang-involved youth in Tacoma.

Human Rights

This office works to protect and preserve human and civil rights for people who visit, live and work in Tacoma, and coordinates the City’s Americans With Disabilities Act transition plan. As a part of its mission, this office works to inform approximately 5,000 businesses, housing providers and community members of their rights and responsibilities under relevant anti-discrimination laws and statutes, and ensures that people with disabilities have equal access to City services, can navigate Tacoma’s streets and can access electronic information.

Homeless / Housing Services

This program functions in partnership with Pierce County on the “Pierce County Homeless Housing Plan,” and includes efforts to address encampments in Tacoma.

Senior Citizen Services

Senior Citizen Services operates two senior activity centers to provide a comprehensive set of programs to improve and maintain health, stimulate learning and provide socialization, recreation and volunteer opportunities for people age 50 and older. It provides meals to seniors who may consider these meals to be their primary meal of the day, Monday through Friday, and 300 monthly van rides to both senior activity centers for seniors living in Tacoma’s city limits.

Community and Economic Development

The Community and Economic Development Department is committed to the pursuit of Tacoma’s prosperity, and helping elevate Tacoma’s profile as a thriving, livable and progressive international city.

Art Programs

This office provides support to the Tacoma Arts Commission to develop and implement policies and programs per the Tacoma Municipal Code. It also manages several key programs, including public art funding for artists and arts organizations, Art at Work Month and Tacoma Murals Project programs.

Economic Development Division

This Division provides business support services and coordination on planning and infrastructure projects. It also provides expansion, retention and attraction services for large and small employers through outreach and contracts with partner organizations, conducts research and provides targeted customer lists for Tacoma’s small business community, supports expansion of international trade activities, and acts as an internal City ombudsman on behalf of external customers.

Geographic Information Systems and Data Analysis

This office provides complex spatial analysis for decision-makers, including reports and maps in support of policy discussions.