City needs more officers now

Published 9:06 am Saturday, October 3, 2009

On Wednesday, a 41-year-old Franklin woman was attacked and robbed in her own home. Fortunately, the victim of the home invasion was not seriously harmed; she was treated for her injuries at the hospital and released.

But unfortunately, this brazen attack — where the suspect escaped, and which occurred in broad daylight along a busy street — illustrates that no one is safe from the senseless violence that is slowly making a stranglehold on this city.

Recall that earlier this year, Chief Phil Hardison implored the City Council to provide him with 10 additional police officers to help stem the rising tide of crime.

Several months have passed, and since that time the city in April applied for two competitive federal grants totaling $1 million that would put more police on the streets. But there’s no guarantee the grant money will be awarded to Franklin. If the city doesn’t get it, it will need to take action with the resources it has.

We propose that the City Council make immediate cuts elsewhere to fund the estimated $750,000 that 10 additional police officers would cost.

It has been suggested in this newspaper on an earlier occasion that cutting five white-collar jobs at City Hall would be enough to hire the additional police. This is an option that we believe would be more palatable than raising taxes, but under these dire circumstances raising taxes might be a good idea as well, if cuts could absolutely not be made elsewhere.

The public is in danger. Our elected officials have been entrusted to help make sure that citizens are safe. The City Council needs to step up, make the changes, and get additional police on the street.