I am shocked that the city leaders are taking the same attitude as major retailers did many years ago and abandon downtown with the new possible proposed city police headquarters.
We need a stronger police presence downtown, not a retreat. Hundreds of millions of dollars of taxpayers money has been invested in the Carroll Creek project. There are safety issues that need to be addressed there and on Market Street.
Think about all the taxpayer dollars that have been invested in venues such as the Weinberg Center and the Delaplaine Arts Center.
Millions of tax dollars were invested in burying the phone lines on Market Street and multiple parking decks. Downtown is where we drive tourism as our economic engine. Now, the police do need a new facility, but not one — more like two: a prominent state-of-the-art facility downtown, and a satellite facility on U.S. 40 for the Golden Mile to shine again. There are multiple locations in both areas that are available.
People in the city pay a lot in taxes, and they expect the basics first. That is to feel safe and have a clean city. I would have thought the three-hour discussion would have instead been about not pulling the city police headquarters from downtown.
Do we need a new pay scale for our police department? Yes.
Do we need to hired at least 20 more police officers as we are understaffed now? Yes.
A new, more aggressive pay scale will help with recruitment and retention.
No one is suggesting a police state, but the city should set the tone that the violence that has occurred will not be tolerated.
Safe and clean that is what the majority is looking for from our leaders. Start there, as many people in the community feel we are at a crossroads.