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Saturday, September 09, 2006

Police Rally on Rice St. John Krenik of "St. Paul Issues and Forums" comments.

From: JFK4MN@aol.com Add to Address Book Add Mobile Alert
Date: Sat, 9 Sep 2006 15:00:50 EDT
To: stpaul-issues@forums.e-democracy.org
CC: JFK4MN@aol.com
Subject: Re: [SPIF] Police Rally TODAY - Where was Lee Helgen or Mayor Chris Coleman?
Hi All,

Re: Police Rally TODAY - Where was Lee Helgen or Mayor Chris Coleman?

"Today, I was privileged to speak and be part of a rally in support of
adding
more police officers in St. Paul. I was very surprised to see that
Council
Member (Ward 5) Lee Helgen or Mayor Coleman did not find this an
important
event to attend. Not to mention it was held in Ward 5, Council Member
Helgen's
ward. A whole list of other elected officials and concerned neighbors
were
there. All felt as I did that this was an important event to attend
and to show
support for our police department and public safety in St. Paul."

"Recently in city budget meetings for the 2007 budget, city Council
Member
Lee Helgen has suggested that closing Hayden Heights Library is a
possible
solution to funding these additional police officers. This is one of
the most
irresponsible suggestions Lee Helgen has made. Closing libraries is
not the
answer to the police shortage in St. Paul, but only a political ploy by
Mr. Helgen.
Mayor Coleman and some city council members have gone back on their
commitment to add police officers to St. Paul as outlined in the 2006
budget and the
3% property tax that was dedicated for just that purpose. The Mayor
has wasted
this money that was dedicated for hiring police officers by not hiring
the
allotted police officers as outlined in the 2006 budget, instead he has
advocated for just paying overtime and hiring only 5 of the proposed 25
police
officers for the 2007 budget. This solution by the Mayor is a crime
and is a waste
of the public's hard earned money by paying overtime and the public is
not
being served by his inaction. Please call Council Member Helgen and
Mayor Coleman
and ask for more police officers. Mr. Helgen (651) 266-8650 and Mayor
Coleman (651) 266-8510."

"St. Paul is the Capital City of the State of Minnesota and we need to
set
the example for other cities in the state to follow. We must lead and
not
follow. By both of your absences today, Mayor Coleman and Council
Member Helgen,
you have sent a strong single to the citizens of St. Paul about your
lack of
commitment towards their safety in St. Paul. This is the second police
rally
the Mayor has missed. He has been invited to both rallies."

"In this time of war, the public safety of our city needs to be a top
priority for our Mayor and City Council. In the 2006 budget that was
approved by the
Saint Paul City Council, called for the addition of 25 NEW police
officers
for the City of Saint Paul. This was a commitment by the Mayor (Randy
Kelly)
and City Council to hire 25 additional police officers in addition to
hiring
replacement police officers for retiring police officers for our basic
public
safety. This budget (2006) allowed for full funding of 576 full time
sworn
officers and the addition of 25 officers for a grand total of 601
police officers
for our city by the end of the year 2006. The current strength of our
city
police department is based on 2 police officers for every 1000
residents. Police
to resident levels in cities like Minneapolis is based on 2.07 to 2.2
police
officers per every 1000 residents. The Mayor's proposed 2007 budget
staffing
for our already stretched police department is 581 officers instead of
601
officers as outlined in the 2006 budget (2.0 officers to 1000
residents).
Understaffing our police department is a disservice to the citizens of
St. Paul and
creates a safety risk to the public."

"On July 27, 2006 the St. Paul Police Department graduated 12 of the
proposed
25 police officers and three replacement officers for a total of 15
police
officers. This is less than half of the 25 police officers that were
budgeted
for in the 2006 budget. Instead of using this 3% dedicated property
tax
increase for the intended purpose of hiring police officers, Mayor
Coleman has used
it to pay overtime instead of hiring permanent replacement police
officers.
Paying overtime is not solving the shortage of police officers and is a
misuse
of taxpayer money. Hiring more police officers is the best solution
for St.
Paul, paying overtime is just a bandaid and a misuse of taxpayer
money."

Where would the money come from to add the additional 25 police
officers?

"The police department's total operating budget is $79,322,281. This
is
broken down with $66,380,718 coming from the general fund and
$12,942,113 in
special funds. Funding for the additional 25 police officers would come
through
shifting appropriate training-related costs, like the POST Training
special fund
and applying resources from other Police special funds. Deferral of
leasing
additional squad cars until January 2007. Also cost savings from
turnover (not
vacancies) from senior-level to entry-level officers due to normal
retirement. Additional revenue sources for funding the additional 25
police officers
will come from increased fees charged at the Police Impound Lot ($25
per
instance), thus generating an additional $325,000 per year. The Saint
Paul City
Council also approved a city-wide tax levy increase of 3% for the
hiring of these
25 additional police officers. This city-wide tax levy would generate
$1.88
million in additional, permanent revenue (an amount equivalent to the
projected
future full-year cost of the 25 additional police officers) and was
approved
in the 2006 budget by the Saint Paul City Council for public safety."
(Information from the budget office, City of St. Paul)

"Let's make no bones about this issue. The public safety of our city
must be
the most important priority for our Mayor and City Council. Saint Paul
needs
a total of 601 police officers by the end of 2007 to maintain the
strength of
their police department in relation to the population (2.0 police
officers to
1000 residents). The Mayor is only proposing 581 sworn officers in the
2007
budget. Being the Capital City, it is our obligation to provide a safe
and
secure city. Cutting corners with public safety will only result in
the mess
Minneapolis is now facing."

"If I were Mayor of St. Paul, I would make sure we had a strong police
department, as we must be proactive and not reactive when it comes to
policing in
St. Paul. I propose a five-year plan to add 125 more police officers
to St.
Paul. The safety of the citizens in St. Paul should be the Mayor's
first
responsibility. Following through on hiring 125 additional police
officers is a
smart and prudent commitment, but this is only the minimum number of
officers as
compared to other police departments in the Metro area. If I was Mayor
I would
go further and hire 200 more police officers so our police department
is
proactive and not just reactive. In 2006 the City Council approved the
first 25
police officers, the money was dedicated for this and if there is a
budgetary
shortfall, then the Mayor should show leadership and find this extra
money to
follow through with this basic public safety measure. The Mayor only
hired 12.
The first priority for our city is public safety. The police
department is
facing some real issues in the war on terror and public safety, police
response time, meth users, violent crime, property crime and these 25
additional
police officers were a much needed basic necessity for public safety as
well as
officer safety. We need to give our police and fire departments the
needed
tools for public safety. Mayor Coleman, I invite you to get onboard
with the
hiring 25 new police officers every year for five years as we do not
want to turn
into Minneapolis."


Sincerely,


John F. Krenik
Highland Park, St. Paul, Minnesota


John Krenik
Highland Park, St. Paul, Minnesota
More info: http://forums.e-democracy.org/stpaul/contacts/johnkrenik

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2 Comments:

Blogger Bob said...

I posted this at SPIF in response to Johns topic.

Sep 2006 16:18 by Bob Johnson

Interesting concept. Hire more police which means more arrest. Hummm, that
sounds costly John. Then we would have to pay for court proceedings,
corrections, incarcerations, supervision, social services related to drug &
alcohol treatment.I'm sure I must be forgetting some cost somewhere.

We didn't see Helgen and Coleman at this rally because they feel they have an
effective crime deterrent. It's called code enforcement. Get rid of the nest
get rid of the problem.Hope the trouble goes someplace else and who cares if
some innocent people get hurt along the way.

How many of you people honestly feel this way, "Not In My Back Yard"? I can
tell you all with honesty I have had this attitude toward crime in my
neighborhood. I didn't care were crime was just so it wasn't in my back yard.

I should add John and I do not confer so I have know idea one way or the
other how he feels about this issue.

Now that's out of the way.

I have given great care and consideration to the crime problem. Having been a
"criminal" and also having the honor of working with law enforcement I have
what I believe are some sound judgements in deterring crime.This stuff
doesn't come cheap, but in the end we all will be better people for it.

Most crime is committed by males ages 14 to 25. For the most part uneducated.
Neglected by parents. Neglected by an educational system geared to tend to
the masses and not the few who need "real" extra help. This is were it all
starts with repeat offenders. The schools are real good at determining "At
Risk" youth. Their not so good at turning them around.

A massive mentoring program is needed to intervene for "At Risk" youth. Real
mentors who are going to take a kid into their life as if he or she was their
own kid. Big sacrific, but worth it.

We need to dump a bunch of money into law enforcement, corrections, education
and social service programs to change these young mens lives around.It will
actually save money to help people become productive.

Adding police officers is good. However we need the whole package to be
effective. The City as a whole will be a better place.
Values can be instilled upon these young men whose lives were turned around
to help the next generation in the way they were helped.
This is a real investment in our community. A lasting investment, with great
impacts.

The current practices if held for a number of years will come to haunt us.top

4:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We have an up hill battle to educate people of this complex issue.

9:59 PM  

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