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Improve community safety and well-being

2023 accomplishments

We’re working to improve the safety and well-being of Vancouver by enhancing our capacity to respond to and serve the most vulnerable in our community, implementing Prop 2 to improve response times and reliability of our Fire and EMS services, hiring more police officers and investing in new resources to create safe, disaster-resilient City infrastructure.

Strengthening police and fire

Police camera program

Launched a police camera program, including front-facing and rear-passenger vehicle cameras in all patrol vehicles and body-worn cameras for all officers to help improve transparency, accountability, and safety for both the community and officers.

Police recruitment

By implementing progressive recruitment strategies and increased process efficiencies, the Vancouver Police Department hired 30 new police officers in 2023, a 20% increase from the previous year, and finished the year with just 12 police vacancies.

Fire recruitment

Hired 36 additional lateral or entry-level firefighters – increasing the department’s daily roster of firefighters on duty during every 24-hour shift from 40 to 53.

Nurse Navigation Program

Launched a new Clark County 911 Nurse Navigation Program to provide Vancouver and the greater Clark County area with options for quickly reaching the appropriate level of medical care when calling 911 and helping to free up first responders to address true emergencies. An average of three to five people who call 911 are referred to the Nurse Navigation Program daily. Since implementation, 35% of those referred to the program have taken advantage of alternative care options, such as an urgent care visit or self-care at home.

Fire Boat 1

Equipped Vancouver Fire’s Discovery Fire Boat 1 with upgraded, state-of-the-art sonar technology to enhance emergency response time on waterways and improve recovery capabilities, thanks, in part, to a grant from United Grain.

Home fire prevention

Vancouver Fire Marshal’s Office received a $207,000 federal grant for its Project Home Safe campaign to reduce the frequency and severity of residential fires in Vancouver through education and outreach.

Logistics warehouse

Began design and planning for a new Fire Station 5 logistics warehouse to centralize essential equipment, supplies and records for the entire Fire Department. Construction is anticipated to begin in 2024.

Paving the way for a people-focused transportation system

Transportation System Plan

Adopted Vancouver’s 2024-44 Transportation System Plan, a roadmap for how we’ll invest in a safe, climate-friendly and equitable transportation system – no matter how you choose to travel. The transportation system covers Vancouver’s entire network of streets, sidewalks, bike/small mobility routes and trails.

Complete Streets

Continued work on Complete Streets project implementation to make busy corridors safer and more comfortable for all:

Completed the first phase of the S.E. 1st Street corridor improvement. This project represents more than 20 years of planning and design and marks the first of many capital transportation projects that fully integrate the City’s Complete Streets design criteria. The second phase of S.E. 1st Street will commence in 2024 and the entire corridor between 164th Avenue and 192nd Avenue will be completed in 2025.

Advanced construction work to improve the safety and comfort of travel on Fourth Plain Boulevard and Fort Vancouver Way. New buffered mobility lanes (for bikes and other small mobility devices) and our community’s first Business Access and Transit (BAT) lanes were added on Fort Vancouver Way (from Mill Plain Boulevard to Fourth Plain Boulevard) and construction began on Fourth Plain Boulevard, from F Street to Fort Vancouver Way. Next, we’ll complete construction on this section of Fourth Plain Boulevard, adding BAT lanes and Vancouver’s first two-way cycle track on the south side of the street. Construction of phase two improvements on the eastern half of Fourth Plain Boulevard, from Fort Vancouver Way to Andresen Road, will also take place in 2024.

  • Completed community outreach and evaluation to understand how well the Columbia Street Project improvements are working and identify any opportunities for future improvement.
  • Completed community outreach and selected a final design option for McGillivray Boulevard.
  • Began community outreach and analysis for the 112th Avenue Project to inform potential design solutions to address safety and travel concerns.
  • Kicked off planning for two new safety and mobility projects along Upper Main Street (from Fourth Plain Boulevard to the northern City limits) and St. Johns and St. James (from Fourth Plain Boulevard to N.E. 68th Street).

Replacing aging playgrounds, building better-connected trails


Worked with neighbors to create new playground design plans to replace aging, unsafe playgrounds at Columbia Lancaster, Van Vleet and Homestead parks in 2024.

Completed playground surface improvements at LeRoy Haagen Memorial Park, 13412 N.E. LeRoy Haagen Memorial Drive. The new poured-in-place rubber surfacing has created a safer play experience and provides increased accessibility.


Began design and planning for a new section of pedestrian trail on Evergreen Highway from S.E. Chelsea Avenue to S.E. Image Road. The wide pedestrian and small mobility path will improve safety for pedestrians and bikes, improve access to the nearby Weber Arboretum and the Columbia Springs Education Center and fill a one-mile-long gap in the existing pedestrian trail, connecting Evergreen Highway to the Discovery Historic Loop trail.

Helping the unhoused

Funding support

  • Funded local support services that stabilized 521 households at risk of homelessness and supported another 77 households with housing identification and limited financial assistance to prevent homelessness.
  • Awarded funding to provide 750 shelter beds and 725 motel vouchers for those experiencing homelessness.
  • Connected 899 people to resources and services at homeless outreach events.

Safe Stay Communities

  • Opened Safe Stay Community 3, 415 W. 11th St., in Nov. and Safe Stay Community 4, 4611 Main St., in Dec.– doubling Vancouver’s temporary emergency shelter capacity and providing a safe, supportive path out of homelessness for up to 80 additional unsheltered community members. Both Safe Stays are managed and staffed 24/7 by nonprofit service providers.
  • The City’s Safe Stay program served 241 community members previously living unsheltered, 80 of whom transitioned to permanent housing.
  • Celebrated one year of successful operation of the City’s second Safe Stay Community in central Vancouver in April, providing a total of 53 community members with supportive services and safe shelter and transitioning 14 to housing in its first 12 months of operation


The Homelessness Assistance and Resources Team (HART) completed more than 40 large-scale encampment clean ups to address public health and sanitation needs, removing more than 347 tons of waste and litter, and responded to more than 1,341 encampment concerns or questions reported by the community. This represents a nearly 100% increase in service requests since 2022.

Safe Park

Served 205 community members living in vehicles at the City’s Safe Park Zone, a secure parking area with more than 50 parking spaces, portable restrooms, hand washing stations and trash services to support community health and cleanliness. A total of 54 Safe Park residents exited to stable housing.

Emergency Declaration

In November, the City issued an emergency declaration related to homelessness following growing complexity surrounding the homelessness crisis and its impacts on human health, community safety and sanitation. The emergency order provided the City greater flexibility to address the crisis with the speed and urgency it requires.

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