City Council meets tomorrow (Tuesday, April 23rd) for budget meetings, please help to remind the Council (email@example.com) that funding for public safety services should be a priority again! Here is our letter:
Honorable Mayor Watkins and Councilmembers;
One of the generally understood and accepted components of the contract between government and the people is public safety. It is the very foundation upon which we build a community – we trust that the investment that our elected government makes on our behalf will, at the very least, provide some reasonable continuance of public safety – and it is this matter that we bring to your attention today.
The Santa Cruz Police Department has suffered through many years of being woefully understaffed for sworn officers. Take Back Santa Cruz has repeatedly advocated for a closer look at this issue, asking that the City take immediate action to preserve the ability of the Department to execute its mission, and prepare for potential shortfalls of staff in the future through attrition. The latest was in 2016: https://takebacksantacruz.org/scpd_staffing_priority/
As budget season is upon us, we implore the Council to ensure proper staffing levels at the Santa Cruz Police Department both today and in the future. We ask that the City again make this fundamental part of the public contract a priority.Take Back Santa Cruz, 2019
Janice King says
Santa Cruz is at a critical crossroads. It is apparent that the current staffing level of the police department is inadequate to handle the issues facing the City and to decimate the department even further is unfathomable. I am in a position where I interact with visitors coming to Santa Cruz and the theme I’m hearing over and over is that visitors, while loving the beauty of the area, are disturbed by the visual blight that is pervasive throughout the community. I usually ask, “Would you recommend Santa Cruz to friends/family?” and the answer is usually “maybe”.
Santa Cruz needs a strong police presence and a City Council with the “guts” to address the ever-increasing crime that is taking over the City. If neither happens, trust me, people will choose to take their dollars elsewhere … where the climate is conducive to families hoping to enjoy their time together and not spent tripping over drunks/druggies/vagrants or worrying about being the victim of a crime. We are not the only city by the ocean …
Chelsea Wagner says
Time to build a bigger jail. With 14.9 mil being spent on policing the homeless it would be cheeper to house then in jail. After all that is what the city manager implied in the latest city budget.