The plan would raise the sales tax for the next decade. The cost would be 3 cents on every $10 you spend.
Monday's news conference suggested the tax could pay for more than a dozen new officers. The goal is to beef up current efforts on gang prevention and intervention.
Chief Ken Hohenberg says one of the main reasons he backs the proposal is it's a sales tax, as opposed to a property tax.
"Having a sales tax from my perspective is a very important alternative and a fair way. It's a use tax, so that we're not punishing people who own a home in Kennewick," said Hohenberg.
The tax will be on the ballot in August.