To the Editor:
I am writing to show my support for Issue 17, the income-tax reform proposal for the city of Gahanna on the Nov. 5 ballot.
When seconds matter, Gahanna police are currently able to answer and respond to emergency calls within minutes. The safety of residents is their No. 1 priority.
This income-tax reform is about retaining current levels of service. Without it, there will be a real and tangible effect on safety services.
We live in a time when making cuts to police, whether in staffing or to equipment, including cruisers, would directly affect the ability of our police officers to perform at a high level. We must be able to attract and retain officers who have the best interests of our families and neighbors in mind. The tools they use to do their job must ensure their safety while protecting the people they serve.
Cuts to staffing levels will mean a decrease in police presence and an increase to emergency response times. Staffing cuts would mean remaining officers take on additional responsibilities to an already high-stress and high-profile career that puts their lives on the line. It means some calls may need to take priority over others. This is not fair to any victim of crime.
Gahanna residents deserve the best police protection. Over the past five years, the city has made significant cuts, including safely reducing the number of officers. Decreasing this number even more gives criminals opportunities to commit crime.
Gahanna is at a crossroad. Please vote yes on Issue 17 to keep Gahanna a place where families can enjoy our great parks and community events in a fun and safe atmosphere.
Franklin County Municipal Judge James Green,