Police need better funding, reader says

Published 9:46 am Wednesday, June 10, 2009

To the Editor:

Are we to be besieged? It can seem that way. An abduction in a busy parking lot, random and some not so random gunfire, homes with bullet holes, robberies and threats in the streets are all symptoms of a dangerous cloud of crime and lawlessness hanging over Franklin.

Police Chief Phil Hardison has presented to all who would see it a startling story of what is happening in our little city. He has asked for funding to add staff, and provide training, and equipment to protect us — $750,000. This is not for frills and inflated salaries but for basic needs to protect all of us. The chief and his very able staff do all that their numbers allow them to do, but they are challenged by a huge number of often dangerous incidents over a wide territory.

City Council and the administration met the citizens’ demands to hold the line on taxes, a remarkable and commendable accomplishment. But there is a price, and somehow, for our community safety we must find the money to fund Hardison’s and his colleagues’ very professional, pragmatic and basic requirements for all our sakes.

I am certain with the expertise and spirit of cooperative action evident on City Council and our extraordinary and inspired administration, answers to this most pressing need can be found.

Is there something more important for ourselves, our families, our neighbors, and our fellow citizens than to be safe at home, on the streets and in the gathering places?

The “M” words are not magic and miracles, but money and management. I am convinced we have the management. If your group has not seen Hardison’s presentation, you should.

Joe Stutts