Letters to the Editor

Letters: April 10, 2019

New police station needed right away

West Richland not only needs new police station, but the sooner the better.

The existing building was never designed for its present occupancy. Some functions are performed under what can only be described as potentially dangerous conditions. The process of fingerprinting is carried out in a public hallway in the main entry. Officers are often forced to meet with citizens discussing confidential matters in this same public hallway.

A person in custody, when brought into the station, passes through public spaces, which makes it possible for a volatile arrest situation to turn bad in just a few seconds. A police station should include a reasonable number of offices and meeting rooms, a continuing education/training room, a workout room, a lunch/break room, etc., and these are just the basics, not luxuries. In the current building, these basics simply don’t exist.

It’s time that we understand that we are not just a bedroom community anymore and making sure that our emergency services, especially our police officers, are up to the challenges of a growing community. It is time to invest in our future, it is time to build a new police station.

Proud West Richland citizen.

Luis Ojeda, West Richland

Needle exchange: a possible solution

It appears obvious that no one wants to have a needle exchange operation next to them or their business. This is totally understandable.

I have a possible solution. Maybe Dr. Allgaier and his associates, the main advocates of this program, can purchase a large used motor home to be used as a mobile dispensing site. The motor home, appropriately identified by signing on its sides, could be moved to various locations on a rotating schedule. These sites would have public access but removed from the general public. Places like the east end of the Fairgrounds’ large and mostly unused public parking lot. Various sites could be selected and a schedule published.

As distasteful as this program seems to many of us, it is obviously much better than nothing being done to help these unfortunate people. Maybe all four cities could participate in selecting a site or two.

Gary Hallett, Kennewick

Important support for Constitution

It was very gratifying to learn that 25 former Republican lawmakers and nearly 60 former senior national security officials have appealed to Congress to kill President Trump’s declaration of a national emergency on the Mexican border.

They declared that there is neither a “documented terrorist or national security emergency at the southern border” nor an “emergency related to violent crime.” The president has also said there is not an emergency, but that he was declaring one so he could get the wall built more quickly.

It was very disappointing to hear President Trump’s lies about illegal drugs and crime on the border. He repeated these lies in his speech from the Oval Office and during his State of the Union speech.

It is not true that massive amounts of illegal drugs are flowing over unfenced sections of the border. The vast majority of drugs are smuggled through official border crossings in cars and trucks; more walls will not prevent this.

Surprisingly, Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell has said he will support President Trump’s assault on the constitutional separation of powers in declaring an emergency when none exists.

Jeanette Coats, Othello