Madam Mayor Strickland and Tacoma City Council Members,
Monday of last week President Obama reached out by way of an open letter to the law enforcement community to assure that he and his administration stood by us. I am writing to see if you stand by us too.....
In the open letter (see the letter attached or at this link- https://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2016/07/19/read-president-obamas-open-letter-americas-law-enforcement-community )
President Obama acknowledged the dangerous and difficult job that being a police officer is and assured all of law enforcement that "the American people see it, too. We recognize it, we respect it, we appreciate it and we depend on you". But what I want you to pay particular attention to in his letter is the President's call for restoring resources and the services that come with them..... The President stated "We should give you the resources you need to do your job".
As you are well aware our department has been cut 60 full time commissioned positions. Crime in Tacoma has increased since these cuts, especially our drive-by shootings. The services we used to provide to our citizens cannot be fully provided today. We are proud of our hard working community, and like many of our citizens we are worried about the future of our neighborhoods. Our officers are doing everything we can to protect and serve our neighborhoods with limited resources, but it is not enough. We have 20% fewer commissioned officers than we did in 2010, despite a growing population and increasing crime.
Recent research polling shows that over two-thirds (69%) of our citizens support increasing the budget and restoring our staffing to pre-recession levels. The President of the United States has stated that we should have the resources needed to do the job. So... Do you agree with the majority of our citizens? Do you agree with President Obama?
The City Manager is in the midst of preparing the 2017/18 budget for your review. The Tacoma Police Union, Local 6, would like you to make sure that restoring commissioned officer positions is the number one priority of that budget. Stand with the Citizens of Tacoma and the President of the United States as they stand by the side of your police department. Just as the President does...... you too should have our backs.
President, Local 6