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Police Department is reason for low crime in Lisbon

To the editor:

Supporting “the will of the people” and following “the rule of law” are vital tenets that must be followed at any level of a democratic government.

In the case of funding for the Lisbon Police Department, “the will of the people” was the Nov. 5, 2019 passage of an additional one-half percent income tax, and “the rule of law” was specific wording in the approved ordinance stating “a minimum of 75 percent of the one-half perfect increase shall be allocated and dispersed to the Village of Lisbon Police Department for the general operations of the Police Department.” The remaining amount generated by the additional half-percent as stated in the ordinance would be allocated and dispersed to the General Fund of the Village of Lisbon.

Past experience as a county commissioner demonstrated to me that those in charge of the money allocate it, and department heads (in this case, the Chief of Police) determine the use or application of those funds while staying within budget.

Council should be mindful of the word “allocate.” News reports of council proceedings indicate some office holders are micromanaging how and for what purposes those funds should be used. The current chief has emphatically stated the importance of continuing to get salaries up to levels comparable with other departments of like size so as to be able to maintain continuity within the department. While some council members tout what has been spent and purchased on their decisions to date, note that the additional tax was not meant to replace what would have otherwise been allocated had the tax not passed, but in addition to, so (as the push for passage of the tax emphasized) comparable wages would keep current staff from understandably seeking employment elsewhere.

While it may seem incongruous to say so, I continue my support of some council members whose views differ from mine on this particular issue. It is impossible for any office holder to always be on the proverbial “same page” with every constituent.

There is a reason we are a low-crime Village. Police presence and patrolling are a deterrent to crime. I am reminded of words my maternal grandmother said to my grandfather (a township police chief in Pennsylvania) during a slow period in action. “What do you want, Archie — a crime wave?”

Cathie DeFazio,

Lisbon

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