Yes to Police and Jail
Sunday, April 17, 2011
By Community Voice | Flint Journal Letters
By Dayne Walling
On May 3, we have an opportunity to create a safer community. We have an opportunity to put more criminals behind bars and keep our police working. We have an opportunity to enhance the quality of life for citizens all across this city.
There are ongoing public safety challenges in our community for which there are no easy solutions. However, on May 3 we have an opportunity to send a message to criminals that lawlessness in this community will no longer be tolerated. There will be consequences for even the smallest misdemeanor crimes when the Flint City Jail is opened with new millage funds.
A yes vote on the jail millage means there will be funds dedicated to operating the city jail for the first time in Flint. These funds are not subject to budget cuts. The 2-mill proposal would add about $40 a year on the tax bill of an average homeowner in Flint.
When the city jail is open, crime goes down. It is a proven fact. It serves as a holding facility for up to 72 hours for offenders. The city jail is the consequence for those involved in prostitution, loitering, illegal scrapping, breaking and entering and other misdemeanor crimes.
Right now, when our police officers arrest someone accused of these crimes, in most cases they are given an appearance ticket and released. Too often these same offenders go out and continue committing these crimes.
It is time that law-abiding citizens who care about this community take a stand. Violent offenders are housed at the Genesee County Jail, and there has to be a place for other offenders. Opening the city jail is our opportunity to get these offenders off our streets and break the cycle of increasing lawlessness. When there are consequences for law-breaking, our community will be better off.
When you go to the polls on May 3, think about the opportunity we have to begin to turn the corner on our public safety challenges. Opening the city jail does not mean that crime in Flint will cease to exist. We still have a long way to go to address crime fueled by drugs, guns and domestic violence in our community.
However, opening the city jail will reduce crime that could lead to more violent crime if not addressed. Opening the city jail is an invaluable resource for our police officers. Opening the city jail will help our officers get more lawbreakers off our streets. Opening the city jail is good for Flint and its residents.
On May 3, say yes to a safer Flint by voting yes on the jail millage.