Benton County voters have a chance to significantly improve our local criminal justice system by approving the Public Safety Sales Tax in August. As a Benton County resident, I want to give our law enforcement the resources they need to keep us safe from gangs and other criminals. This ballot measure does that.
Just as importantly, this measure will help prevent crime and save us money in the long run. It will provide programs for at-risk youth that will help keep them busy, teach them how to make better decisions and hopefully keep them out of gangs. It will continue a very successful drug court, giving people with addiction a chance to turn their lives around. And it will allow people suffering from mental illness a chance to obtain the help they need so they are not sitting in jail at taxpayer expense.
The authors of this measure have done a good job developing a comprehensive approach to meet our criminal justice needs. It will improve our current system. We will, as residents, ultimately benefit from this. I know my vote will help make a positive difference. I encourage others to do the same by approving this ballot measure.
TRACEY BRYANT, Richland