Family law attorney and former Salem Mayor Michael E. Swaim is supporting the bond measure to erect a new police headquarters. We stopped by his office on Cottage Street to ask about his endorsement.
Cost prohibitive to add police and library together on bond
Last week we sat down with Councilor Tom Anderson to ask about his support for the ballot measure (Measure 24-420) to build a new police center. Here is what he had to say:
Friends of Salem Police: You supported the initial effort to get the police facility passed back in November, correct?
Gerry Frank is Salems human Rock of Gibraltar, an indomitable presence who looms large over the community. Over the decades, the restauranteur/businessman/author/philanthropist has contributed his time, money, political savvy and bountiful energy toward transformational civic endeavors, now including the campaign to replace Salems police station.
Following a stirring call to action from Friends of Salem Police PAC organizer Dick Withnell, attendees to the April 11 campaign kickoff committed to the cause with their checkbooks.
In an interview published in 2003 The New York Times said Salem’s then-Mayor Janet Taylor has “the demeanor of a chipper school principal” and often describes things as “just wonderful.”
Special to the Salem Business Journal
Pro-business candidate Chuck Bennett crushed his opponent in the 2016 mayoral race with a campaign that promised commercial growth and added jobs for Salem.
As part of that November mandate, the new mayor is backing a May ballot initiative to give voters a second opportunity to replace a police headquarters plagued by structural inefficiencies, cramped quarters and safety vulnerabilities.
When Salem’s Police Department moved into the first floor of the then new City Hall in 1972, nobody expected that the Police Department would still be there 45 years later. In 1972, City Hall was fine for Salem’s 25 officers and staff. 45 years latter, with 189 offers and staff serving a population which has since tripled, 28,000 square feet is totally inadequate.
The critical scarcity of space to conduct routine business at Salem’s current police headquarters results in more lost time and money than most people realize.
The Friends of Salem Police have made it a top goal to educate voters on the inefficiencies of a building erected in 1972, when the force was smaller and the daily demands less complex.
Salem's security will take a leap into the future with the completion of a new public safety center. The newly reimagined plan calls for taxpayers to invest in a $61.8 facility just seconds away from downtown and the heart of municipal life.
Thanks to the efforts of elected officials and the citizen-led advocacy group, Friends of Salem Police, a fresh effort is underway to replace our outdated and compromised police station built in 1972.
Join us for a Campaign Kick-Off Party. Help keep Salem safe. Details below!
But life has just handed us an opportunity to make good on a pledge we made to the women and men in blue who risk their lives to protect us, the Salem Police.
Frankly, we let them down with our first attempt to explain why Salem needs a state-of-the-art police headquarters to replace a relic of a facility plagued with serious deficiencies and risks to safety.
When an expanding circle of civic leaders asked us to co-chair an effort to inform and excite the community about a second effort at getting funding passed for a police station, we said yes immediately.