Letters to the Editor

Ballot measure crucial for Des Moines Police

The Enhanced Public Safety Committee, a group of citizen volunteers from the Mayor’s Leadership Summit, is again urging the citizens of Des Moines to show their support for the Des Moines Police Department and vote yes May 16 and support the levy lid-lift. These levy funds will go exclusively to help the department restore staff to 1999 levels.

These new funds will go directly to the Police Department. The funds can’t be used in any other city department and will be audited by the state auditor for compliance.

Because of state tax-cutting initiatives, significant decreases in revenues over the past several years have sharply reduced the number of police officers on the street in Des Moines. Serious crimes have increased 42 percent and 9-1-1 emergency calls for service have increased by 20 percent during the past five years, while police staffing has decreased by over 20 percent during the same time period.

Police chief Roger Baker said, “We need to restore the police personnel that have been cut if we expect to adequately respond to emergency calls for service and address the increasing crime rate problem in our community.”

If this levy is approved, the property tax levy rate for 2007 would go from $1.16 to $1.60 per $1,000 assessed valuation, or about only .30 cents a day for the average $250,000 home.

The committee feels strongly that, with the passage of this levy, the full implementation of the Police Department’s five-year strategic plan can be fully realized. It will provide the essential resources necessary for the city to grow and provide the level of safety our community citizens demand.

FLORENCE McMULLIN, GARY BOLLINGER, JIM HEATH, JUDY MANNARD, MIKE ADAMS, SHERRY ROSENLUND, TARA J0 HEINECKE, JIM CHASTAIN, MADGE HANSON and WAYNE COREY

Enhanced Public Safety Committee members

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