Laurelhurst Community Club
Serving 2800 Households in
October 21, 2002
Councilmember Jan Drago, Chair
Budget Committee and
Members of the
Re: Public Safety Budget Cuts / Elimination of Funding for Community Service Officers
Chair Drago and Members of the
The Laurelhurst Community Club Board of Trustees urges you to provide adequate funding for the Seattle Police Department in the 2003-2004 budget. The Mayor’s proposed budget would eliminate 27 sworn police officer positions and 54 civilian positions. We understand the difficulty you face in closing the $60 million budget shortfall, but we believe cuts to public safety should not be considered.
We also oppose the elimination of the Community Service Officer Program as proposed. Community Service Officers perform important services to assist the police and the community. They handle juvenile runaway case management and provide assistance to abused and neglected children. They check on the well-being of the elderly and other vulnerable people. They provide crisis intervention services and assist people in finding emergency housing—just to list a few of the functions they perform. If funding for this program is eliminated, these much-needed services will not be provided because police will not have the time to do them. To reinitiate the program in future years would mean large training and start-up costs. The current program is an effective and efficient use of funds.
We are grateful that funds have been restored for the Crime Prevention Program. We hope you will work to increase funding for sworn police officers and the Community Service Officer Program. Thank you for considering our views.
Jeannie Hale, President Pat Wright, Crime Prevention Rep
3425 West Laurelhurst Drive
206-525-5135 / fax 206-525-9631 206-522-0871