Election letter -- Public safety tax: Yes

March 24, 2014 

I'm glad the Benton County commissioners plan to send the public safety sales tax to the voters. This is a ballot measure very important to our area, and is needed to maintain the quality of life we have come to expect.

The Herald has done a good job in its articles and editorials chronicling the need to address the mental health issue in the criminal justice system. This ballot measure will not solve all the problems associated with this issue, but is a good first step. It will ensure continued funding for a very successful drug court. It provides options for kids who may be attracted to, or want out of, the gang lifestyle.

As a retired police officer, I am most interested in the law enforcement side of this ballot measure. It will fund the needed increase in police officers, court and support staff, and help to keep our communities safe. Our local police departments have done a good job pooling their resources to work as efficiently as possible. But as Kennewick Police Chief Ken Hohenberg said, "You can only stretch the rubber band so far before it breaks." Please support the public safety sales tax.

LARRY BRADFORD, Richland

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