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Cheney Free Press
Cheney , Washington
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September 10, 2015     Cheney Free Press
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September 10, 2015
 

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OPINION "1 CHENEY FREE PRESS Thursday, September 10, 2015 I 5 continued from page 4 a firefighter to tackle calls for help alone or light department employees to climb utility poles without the benefit of assistance. Why then is it accept- able to allow police offi- cers to patrol city streets alone on some shifts with- out the benefit of a backup officer? Moreover, there are times when an officer has a domestic violence call, a suicidal person, traffic collision, or a theft in progress occurring at the same time. How then can an officer meet these demands when working alone? The honest answer is that they can't. The police department has six vehicles assigned to patrol. Three vehicles are leased and are mod- el year 2012. They are in rather good shape, but the miles are piling up quickly. The other three patrol vehicles are model years 2008 and 2009, high-mileage cars with maintenance issues. These emergency vehicles are tired and in need of immediate replacement. The challenge for our city is that a fully outfitted police patrol vehicle Costs $46,500, but the general fund is unable to meet the high cost of vehicle replacement. In terms of computer technology, computers in police cars are essential. Police work demands the Use of computers, from writing police reports, to searching for crime- related intelligence, to wriUng a speeding ticket. CPD computers installed in the police vehicles are over five years old and the company that built them is no longer in business. Each day these comput- ers are routinely failing and crashing, but replace- ment as well as docking stations is estimated to be in the neighborhood of $90,000. Again, the gen- eral fund cannot afford to support replacement at this time or in the foresee- able future. Each year, the state mandates 24 hours of po- lice officer training and continuing education. The city is able to meet this basic need. The difficulty, however, is in the areas of weapons training, de- fensive tactics, and other specialized training that is needed, which the state does not always provide at a cost the city can afford. A professional and well- trained police department is essential to providing public safety services to our community -- you deserve nothing less - but increased funding for training beyond the basics is unattainable under pres- ent economic conditions. Finally, the police and to Buy Tickets Visit .,vw.SpokaneMovies,co Showtimes irl () at~ at bargain pt~ce Special Attraction No Passes THE FAIRWAYS 9810 W. Melville Rd., Cheney, WA $200 FOR (4) ONE-HOUR CLINICS > One-On-One Support > Unlimited Range Balls > Golf Play Per Clinic > Clubs & Cart Rental Participants get $200 OFF Annual Green Fees Membership *PGA Apprentice May Train ot 5orae Clinics *Space is Limited Call 509.747.8418 C M S 10 Screens/ 509-232-0444 Movie Information THE VISIT PG-13 Daily (3:10) (5:10) 7:15 9:20 Sat.Sun (11:00) (1:10) R Daily (4:20) 6:40 9:00 Sat.Sun (11:30) (2:00) "With a decade of state funding takeaways, and a slow-in-recovering economy, public safety that relies upon the city's general fund has been hit particularly hard in five areas -- staffing, vehicles, technology, training and facilities." Cheney Police Chief John,Hensley facility is a converted work, and funding to do Other funding options must mortuary well over 50 so is nonexistent, be considered if we are to years old, and while it By now, I suppose address the unfortunate meets the rudimentary you're asking yourself, facts I've presented here. needs of the community"What's the chief's point?" (Um Police Chief John and officers alike it has Moneyisalwaysaproblem; Hensley has over 30 years of several issues. The lock- we all know that. My point law enforcement experience in er rooms lack hot water, is simply that through no Washington and California. there are electrical and fault of our local leaders, the He has served as police chief HVAC issues, and the city's general fund cannot in Cypress and Costa Mesa, building is not technol- support the needs of the Ca//f., interim chief in Desert ogy friendly. In termspolice department. Theloss Hot Springs, Calif. and with of space, the buildingof various funding sU rns the Police Department lacks storage space for - liquor tax and profits, since December2011. evidence and property,motor vehicle excise tax,Disclaimer: The views and the building is with- reduced sales tax receipts, expressed in this commen- out meeting or training etc.- have hurt the city's tary do not necessarily re- space. Frankly, the en- ability to meet increasing flect those of the Cheney tire police facility needs public safety demands.Free Press. 613 S. Washington Ste. 105 Spokane, WA 99204 5 Blocks off 1-90 (Division St. Exit) FREE Parking 8:30-5:30 Mon-Fri Handicap Access Good Service Cars Trucks Trailers Boats, Cycles, RVs or. 455-8320 t. We Provide Family Peace of Mind/ How may we serve you? We are available 24/7 for: Meal prep, light housekeeping Grocery shopping, errands Personal Care Medication Reminders Companionship ................................ 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