Working together, the Friends of Salem Police and the City of Salem have energized a renewed effort to build a much-needed headquarters for law enforcement.
That you are reading this newsletter is a strong indication that the word is out – and growing.
Just in the last few days:
A smartly designed and easy-to-navigate website has launched at www.friendsofsalempolice.com.
A Friends of Salem Police Facebook page debuted and inspired scores of likes.
The City of Salem launched a comprehensive guide to the Public Safety Facility Bond. The helpful site includes tabs that lead to information about the evolution of the project, the urgent need for it and its estimated cost.
Here’s a link: http://salem.maps.arcgis.com/apps/MapSeries/index.html?appid=c49a75d0e75e4358bbd42cfe5a128afd
That Was Then and This Is Now
Three words describe why voters will be revisiting this issue with a special bond measure later this spring: democracy in action.
Last November, voters rejected a plan to build a 148,000 square-foot police facility. In recent polling, those residents cited the $82.1 million cost as a major negative factor.
That message inspired conversations that led to a decision to draw up plans for a police center that would not include relocating the city’s 911 center.
That move knocked off a major chunk of cash off the initial vision of the police HQ.
And architects found a way to reduce the overall size of the building to 115,000 square feet.
The voters spoke. Proponents listened. A revised plan emerged. And now, voters will have their say again, this time with every question answered, every concern considered, every fact transparent and easy to find.
This Issue's Burning Question
We’ll publish poll results in the next newsletter.
Experts Fan Out Across the Community
A squadron of police center experts is being dispatched to appear as guest speakers at community events large and small over the next 6-8 weeks.
If your organization, association or club would value a discussion about the police center and what it will do to make Salem safe and more secure, call 503-871-6549 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Among the speakers available are leaders in government, commerce and law enforcement.
Tight Storage Spaces Hamper Salem’s SWAT Team
Salem’s highly trained SWAT team needs to get to the scene of a situation in force and without delay. Under present emergency conditions, the tactical unit has to dress in a narrow storage area reserved for their safety equipment, weapons, footwear, uniforms and other gear critical to thwarting danger.
Overcrowding has gotten so onerous that some officers choose to change outdoors – regardless of weather conditions.
Beyond that, some of the over-sized tactical vehicles used by the SWAT team are stored miles away, in make-do, off-site facilities.
The new police center would end all that by providing ample space for the team and a parking and recharging area for all of vehicles.
It’s an improvement that should result is better, faster and more efficient response.
By voting yes to the measure, you can actually put an end to our SWAT team being left out in the cold.