The Tacoma Police Department is being faced with cutting more than a quarter of its force or more than 20 officers per shift. The fire department is facing similar cuts. Experienced officers are retiring, and the new, energetic officers face being laid off.
Is Tacoma ready for drastic cuts that will impact the safety of our communities and our quality of life for years to come? Chief Don Ramsdell has worked hard to reduce crime, drugs and gang violence, while Chief Ronald Stephens has decreased our fire-response times while increasing our medical services.
There is a cost to provide the required minimum/basic public services. With less police and fire staff, the overtime costs will skyrocket. This will be compounded as crime will continue to rise. As crime rises, so will personal insurance rates.
I am OK with having less street maintenance before one officer or firefighter is laid off. Residents who do not speak up are indicating that they are OK with a lesser quality of life, less safety and returning to the old Tacoma. Don’t complain later when you have a delayed fire response to your house fire or when your neighbor is shot.
Contact your neighborhood councils, your council members, and your neighbors and make it known that it is not OK to make Tacoma unsafe.
Stand by, Tacoma; we are starting the downward spiral.