Letter -- Public safety tax: Yes

May 4, 2014 

The public safety sales tax that is on the Aug. 5 ballot has the potential to have a huge positive effect on every Benton County resident. There will be more cops on the streets, more prosecutors and court personnel to speed justice and enforcement along.

The measure also addresses some the root causes of criminal activity, such as chronic drug and alcohol abuse, mental health issues and youth gang involvement.

The biggest effect on quality of life for our citizens is not a low or manageable crime rate. It is the absence of fear of crime. That is where all other quality of life issues start. We can have the best schools and libraries. We can have the nicest parks and pools. But they mean nothing if people are scared to leave their homes for fear of property crimes or crimes against their person.

If any one of our citizens, whether young or old, male or female, cannot walk anywhere in our town at any time of day because they fear a criminal encounter, then we have a huge problem. Please vote yes for public safety on Aug. 5.

PAUL WARDEN, Prosser

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