Much of what we call "quality of life" revolves around public safety. Our well respected public safety system here in the Tri-Cities is at a critical stage and will begin to decline unless we take prompt action.
Since I retired as Kennewick's police chief in 2003 Kennewick added more than 19,000 residents, several more square miles of territory, but only one commissioned police officer. Demands for service increased by more than 5 percent. Equipment and operating costs have escalated. Similar realities exist across all communities in both counties.
We need to fix this before we get behind the curve on crime prevention and enforcement and endanger our quality of life. The longer we wait, the more difficult it will be to catch up.
City and county leaders are doing their best to keep up, but voter-approved initiatives over the last 20 years have made it clear the public wants a say on significant tax increases. Our elected officials have done their part by putting this on the ballot. Now it's your turn.
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Please join me in supporting the proposed public safety sales tax measure on the Aug. 5 ballot. It's that important.
MARC HARDEN, Richland