Don’t take away police officers
During public comment periods (open and budget related) at the Nov. 2 Anacortes City Council meeting, several individuals expressed opinions that the city shouldn’t hire three more police officers and that the money would be better spent recruiting counselors and social workers. They also objected to the thin blue line logo on Anacortes police vehicles, claiming it was a symbol of racism and white supremacy.
Leaving aside, for now, the scurrilous comments on the thin blue line, here are a few thoughts on what was mistakenly advocated.
1) The Anacortes Police Department is understaffed as it is. The department cannot afford to lose three already allocated positions. Remember, APD is charged with protecting the community 24/7, a difficult task even with a full complement of officers.
2) The safety of our community and its people is paramount. Although Anacortes is not Seattle, Portland or Chicago where mayhem and murder are a fact of life, our small city does have its problems and law enforcement is frequently called.
3) Businesses, especially those open past normal daylight hours, rely on our police to respond to theft, unruly customers and myriad other activities that are criminal or potentially harmful in nature. Also, a clerk on duty during this time is more vulnerable and needs the assurance of a fast police response.
4) For domestic disputes, it is unwise to place a counselor or social worker in an environment that can quickly escalate into violence. Police are trained to handle dangerous situations and to protect victims as well as themselves.
The bottom line is that not filling the three already allocated positions will continue to stretch our thin blue line too thin. The city must hire three more police officers now.
Support the police department
My husband and I live in Anacortes because it is a beautiful city, a caring community, and we feel reasonably safe. We have noticed that over the years crime has increased, and that is a real concern.
We have discontinued trips to Seattle due to the violence and the city not allowing police officers to protect citizens. Before COVID-19, we used SeaTac, we went to sporting events, we attended lectures at UW, we had season tickets to the theater. We will not be going to Seattle when police are being defunded and law-abiding citizens are not protected.
The city needs to support our fine Anacortes Police Department by making certain that their budget is not cut in any manner. If possible, and as funding permits, we need to provide them with the best tools with which to do their job of protecting us.
The most important duty of the mayor is to do everything in her power to help ensure the safety of the citizens of Anacortes, despite the actions of those who would like to have a social worker respond when we call 911.
We need more jobs
President-Elect Biden has promised to “Build Back Better” and to “heal our demonized nation.” These are admirable sentiments, but Mr. Biden is historically saddled with his Obama legacy of callously undermining jobs in America’s traditional energy sectors and exporting manufacturing jobs overseas.
Let us not forget that President Barack Obama, when challenged on that front, infamously said, “How are you going to bring those jobs back? Those jobs aren’t coming back!”
President Trump turned that weak Obama capitulation on its head and delivered the lowest unemployment our country had seen for decades by doing precisely what Obama/Biden said couldn’t be done. He delivered record-low unemployment among African-Americans.
The Biden/Harris administration should be held accountable for continuing the Trump trend of bringing energy and manufacturing jobs back home to America in order to continue building affluence across all of our ethnic and demographic sectors.
If Biden/Harris fail in that, all of their high-minded platitudes about “healing,” “building back” and “kindness” will and should be regarded as cynically deployed pandering gibberish, even as one concedes that Donald Trump’s lack of decorum and kindness played into Biden’s apparent 2020 victory. He was crass. But he got us back to work. Will Biden/Harris do the same?