Editor, The Commercial:
Many people in Pine Bluff and Jefferson County have worked to develop our economy and bring in new business as well as expand existing business. However, I believe we are overlooking a vital element in attracting people and businesses to our community. Pine Bluff and Jefferson County must first address the current security and safety of our community. I have given many examples to bring success in past articles.
We must address the staffing of our Police Department. Most of our patrols are single-officer patrols, which is not safe. All patrols should be a two-person operation. We must add to the current number of patrols. We must place our security at the position of No. 1on the city and county budget process, pool resources and work together. They must be given everything they need to make them successful. The people committing crime in our area must realize that they will be found and brought to justice. Crime cannot be allowed to profit.
I believe our police deserve very competitive pay. I believe people want to come and live in an area where they feel safe. We must address these issues first or we will continue to struggle with economic development. We must reflect and realize that people want and deserve security first. This article was first published in November 2006. I hope with new leadership and the Commercial as the voice of the people, we will see much more progress in the future.