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.
The event raised a sum beyond the target set for the evening event, according to campaign co-chairs Janet Taylor and Gerry Frank. While continued fund-raising efforts will be needed to defray campaign costs, the party’s positive vibe suggested citizens are willing to step up to make certain voters will be informed about the critical need to replace the current police station.
Addressing the SRO event at Broadway Commons, Withnell reminded attendees of previous civic achievements that came about in Salem thanks to a tailwind stirred by resolute and determined supporters.
Attendees also heard from current Salem Mayor Chuck Bennett, the evening’s emcee, and former Mayor Taylor.
In impromptu remarks, Frank, known as “Mr. Oregon,” described in vivid terms the conditions at Salem’s current police facility, built in 1972. Frank encouraged everyone to tour the outdated headquarters to “see for yourselves how unacceptable it is.”
Guests nibbled from a table of edible delights provided by Gamberetti’s and the Konditorei.
Did You Know...
…Salem’s law enforcement team must currently endure in a building where closets stand in for work spaces and stairwells serve as ammunition storage areas?
… Sixteen sergeants share four desks?
… Detectives are crammed into a space where they can hardly concentrate?
… That, at times, victims almost rub shoulders with suspects in tight hallways?
… That a cramped area is packed to the ceiling with 60,000 pieces of evidence, including narcotics and weapons, making it a task to find evidence when it is needed?
… The crime lab is seven miles northwest of the police station for lack of space downtown?
… That emergency vehicles are parked miles away in South Salem because there is no space for them?
... That a small alcove is where food and supplies are stored for six dogs in the K-9 corps, but there is no room in the station for dog kennels?
... That all it would have taken to pass the police center levy last November was about 1,590 ‘no’ votes changed to ‘yes’?
That’s why every ‘yes’ vote will matter in May.
Assistance for Voters in Voter Pamphlet
Marion County voters recently received in the mail their copies of the “Official Marion County Voter Pamphlet.”
The pamphlet contains 12 statements submitted by supporters of Measure 24-420, the bond measure that would finance construction of a new police center in Salem.
These supporters include campaign officials, city leaders, representatives of police union and association, business leaders, and citizens.
One of the statements is from Shannon McNabb-Burke, whose husband and son are members of the Salem Police Department. She wrote, “In the event of a major catastrophe, it is our police professionals who will be called upon to maintain stability and safety in our community. It is of the utmost importance we have a police facility able to withstand an event and remain fully functional for our officers to report to and work from. In turn, the new Public Safety Center will become the epicenter of community safety and stability for the City of Salem.
“Please join me in voting YES on Measure 24-420.”
Ballots will be mailed April 26, and they must be returned by May 16 for votes to be counted.
Add to the Punch with a Check to the PAC
Your contribution – whether it is $250, $500 or whatever you can afford – will provide the Friends of Salem Police PAC with the needed funding to sustain a muscular plan to communicate the need for the headquarters through TV ads, direct mail, online efforts and good, old-fashioned, grassroots campaigning.
When completed, Salem will enjoy a higher level of service, faster response times and, if disaster should strike, a police center that will be able to remain operational after an earthquake.
Please send your contribution today either by mail or by visiting www.friendsofsalempolice.com. We are counting on true-blue supporters, the kind of people who are committed to the future of our exceptional city, served by an exceptional team of law enforcement professionals.
Should questions arise, contact us at 503-871-6549.