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City Services

What will happen with police services?

As always, please call 9-1-1 in the case of emergency or to report any suspicious activity. Until March, the King County Sheriff’s Office will respond to police calls and investigate crimes. At that time, the Renton Police Department will provide police services. Renton expanded its seven patrol districts to nine, each staffed with one officer 24 hours a day. Average response time to highest priority calls is about 2.5 minutes. We encourage you to learn more about crime prevention, school resource officers, block watch and business watch programs, and Renton’s neighborhood traffic unit that addresses complaints and conducts speed studies. The department has two animal control officers and operates a misdemeanor jail facility. There are 239 police departments in Washington, and Renton is one of twelve of those agencies that are nationally accredited.

Has annexation affected fire and emergency services?

When you call 911, the Renton Fire and Emergency Services Department will respond. Response time and services will be the same as prior to annexation. Annexation will not impact the level of these services to residents. Fire Districts 40 and 37 have been serving the Benson Hill area, and the area will now be served by the Renton Fire and Emergency Services Department. Today, five city fire stations are staffed with a total of 25 people on duty 24 hours a day on four engine companies, one ladder company, three transport-capable medical aid cars, and one battalion chief. Annexation will cause about one third of Fire District 40’s current territory to become part of Renton, and the city will close its Fire Station 13.

Property owners in Benson Hill will no longer pay Fire District 40’s property tax levy or benefit charge but will still pay the bond proceeds for the District’s new station. The city will assume all fire code inspection and enforcement as well as emergency management responsibility. New or renewed fire code permits after March 1 will be obtained from the city instead of the county.  Under state law, annexation will cause Fire District 40 to transfer about one third of its assets to the city within a year (based on the percentage of property that is annexed). State law allows firefighters to transfer employment to the annexing city.

In addition to the annexation, Renton and Fire District 40 reached an agreement in February 2008 for Renton to be the fire and emergency services provider for all of District 40, in addition to the area that was annexed. This means that the two Fire District 40 stations will still be used to provide response to the entire service area, and residents in both areas benefit from the larger system of service.

What has changed about parks and recreation services?

Today, the City of Renton Community Services’ Parks Division maintains and operates 26 public parks, 13 miles of trails, 723 acres of public open space, an 18-hole public golf course, two lake-front beaches, and a public boat launch. Newly annexed residents qualify now for lower resident recreation fees. Today, King County operates three local parks in the Benson Hill Communities: Renton Park, Boulevard Lane, Cascade Park, and the Soos Creek Regional Park and Trail. Only Cascade Park will transfer to the city with annexation. The City will conduct a safety assessment of this park and work with area residents to consider how the city can best meet the needs of the community. All parks will be maintained in the future as public parks.