Letters to the Editor

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TACOMA: City faces public safety crisis

Letter by Brad Blackburn, Tacoma on Dec. 2, 2011 at 4:27 pm with 15 Comments »
December 2, 2011 4:27 pm

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.

Leave a comment Comments → 15
  1. aislander says:

    We need a state law that basic public-safety services be funded with the first tax dollars taken in, so that they will be the last services to be cut.

    It is standard operating procedure for governments to extort higher taxes from their citizens by abrogating government’s first responsibility, while retaining environmental diversity mitigation counselor retrainers, or whatever…

  2. sandblower says:

    “It is standard operating procedure for governments to extort higher taxes from their citizens by abrogating government’s first responsibility, while retaining environmental diversity mitigation counselor retrainers, or whatever…”
    Prove it or hang it up.

  3. took14theteam says:

    Look no further than Queen Christine for your proof, blow…

    And you must live under a rock if you don’t think Dems threaten to cut essential services, while keeping non-essential services intact, while begging for more money. Then the stupid sheep say “yes, we will vote ourselves a tax increase cause we need police”.

    And the Dems go laughing to the bank to waste that money elsewhere. The same old play book.

  4. gottaroof says:

    Sometimeswe the people have to shake things up, since none of our ELECTED officials want to really do anything, let’s replace them with real people, real citizens. I know many people have their personal agenda, but public safety should never be used as leverage against the citizens.We literally have thousands of people without jobs and yet I drive by and see illegals working, I see them in stores with food stamp cards, I see them in the clinics with medical coupons, taking money from programs that they have never paid anything into, and yet our programs for our seniors are being cut, and they are the ones that paid into the programs the illegals are draining Take from those that have and give to those that have not earned.

  5. quorient says:

    1st thought, most of those laid off tpd and tfd folks don’t live in Tacoma anyway, so when they go we are off the hook for the take home cars. Less money taken from tacomans, paid to provide a service, that leaves town and deprives us of that monet recirculating in the Local economy.But, We do need a credible PD & FD.I think these layoffs,are the response to possibly asking for a change in the perks and other non essential expenses the city wants back. (take home cars) Cop union said no way, city says ok those left can keep the cars. Not sure what the FD angle may be.Remember, the coucil bussiness folk, don’t think this stuff up, they get advice from city staff, most of whom also live out of town. They may see the lay offs as a Business decision, after all where they live theres no lack of services. As lonf as it looks good in the rear view mirror on the way home, they think Tacoma is fine. Straight across the board cuts, in every dept. and pay check that can be done.

  6. taxedenoughintacoma says:

    The mayor and city council do not like paying for three police forces at the same time. Active duty, retired and those that retire early of disability. The unions that helped elect these politicians have helped with their own demise. Like other cities run by liberal democrats they can no longer afford to pay the high cost of pay and benefits.

    They are out of your money and the bucket is dry. Their only idea is to raise taxes and kill business with parking tickets. Well until they fail and the public cleans up the mess this is only the start.

    Heck, they don’t like cops anyway.

  7. aislander says:

    smokeblower: Get outa here you knucklehead…

  8. LarryFine says:

    “It is standard operating procedure for governments to extort higher taxes from their citizens by abrogating government’s first responsibility”

    Yes it is… and everybody knows it. Even my furthest left friends willingly admit it.
    Sandpacker… prove you’re not K ardnos…

  9. itwasntmethistime says:

    I’m okay with funding basic level public safety before we spend over $2,000,000 drying up one drunk. Sometimes one sheep wanders and you can’t risk the whole flock trying to save just the one.

  10. HistoryFan says:

    The City Council needs to hear your thoughts on public safety this Tuesday night at the Council Chambers. Do you want to get rid of Community Policing (i.e.Community Liasion Officers) and all the other crime reducing proactive work they do in all of our neighborhoods? Are you okay with only having police run call-to-call, not having the time to get to the root of the neighborhood problem? The successful crime fighting partnerships that have been built between Neighborhoods and Police have significantly helped reduce crime in the double digits. Do we want to throw this away just to have to start all over again?

  11. Pacman33 says:

    Kardblower and his multiple disassociated personalities catch phrase ~
    “Prove it or hang it up.”

    LarryF with the crushing, witty and hilarious trollbomb ~
    “Sandpacker… prove you’re not K ardnos…”

  12. But hey, you guys have a glass museum that hangs glass garbage bags on poles, a “thriving” arts community, and a toy train. Oh, and the Ceccanti family is filthy rich.

    Hey, what political party has run Tacoma for years now?

  13. LarryFine says:

    Noooo kidding lanq.

  14. SwordofPerseus says:

    30 years of supply side economics and this is what you will get, a transfer of vast sums of money from the middle and bottom to the top. Nothing left now for services, critical or otherwise. No rescue from the leaders of industry or politics. It is the obvious signs of empire decay. Learn from history and you will see where we are headed. Hint, it’s not up.

  15. Sword – Excellant points.

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