Please Don't Cut Public-Safety Budget

RECEIVED Tue., Dec. 23, 2008

Dear Editor,
    I realize that these are hard economic times, but that is all the more reason to not make cuts in the public-safety budget. Hard times lead to hard crimes, and with a decreased public-safety budget, families who live in neighborhoods like Montopolis will be put at more risk than they already are.
    Just this year, two corpses have laid out in the open less than a block from Allison Elementary School. Every child who passed by one of those bodies on the way to school was exposed to something no parent in any part of Austin wants his or her children to have to see. Just a few months ago, one of the children at Allison Elementary School found a used heroin syringe on the playground. Four small children were pricked on that dirty needle while playing with it. How many years down the road will it be before those children and their families can get on with their lives without fear of those small children coming down with hepatitis or AIDS?
    We have gangs in this neighborhood. We have at-risk children in this neighborhood. Just about every street in the older parts of Montopolis has at least one drug dealer and sometimes several plying their trade. Even the Habitat for Humanity homes being built at the Frontera subdivision had a constant problem with vandalism and copper theft. Many thousands of dollars were lost so some drug addict could get 20 dollars' worth of heroin or crack cocaine selling stolen copper ripped from the electrical or AC systems while those houses were under construction. Once or twice a week, I watch what I know are drug deals going on in parking lots in this neighborhood. Yes, I call the police, but the dealers are gone by the time a patrol car gets there. All too often I smell marijuana from a passing car. All too often I find a used syringe or broken crack pipe laying in the gutter.
    Please don't cut our public-safety budget. Think of how that makes Montopolis residents feel when we see the big businesses such as the Domain receiving the money that should have gone to keep our children safe!
Delwin Goss
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