To the editor:
The evening of April 12, while most of us slept safe and sound in our Cape Girardeau homes, the emergency rooms of both hospitals were in a near riot situation, requiring every available Cape Girardeau police officer and state trooper.
The particulars of the situation involved a shooting from out of town, but the incident reinforced the fact that all too often our public safety departments are close to inadequate.
Cape Girardeau is truly at a crossroads as it relates to our police and fire departments. We are facing many challenges: not enough staff, far too high staff turnover, antiquated equipment and facilities.
I managed a retail business throughout my career. In doing so, I watched costs for everything continue to climb. The same thing has happened with equipment, facility and operational costs for our fire and police departments.
Recently you may have seen a report on KFVS-12 where area fire departments simulated reactions to a terrorist situation. Notably, the Cape Girardeau Fire Department did not participate. Our department does not have the resources to fund specialized training.
Last year the city council floated a multifaceted tax proposal that failed. This is different. It is focused. It is genuinely needed. And the funds generated will go into a trust fund to guarantee funding for equipping and paying our police and fire personnel.
I am asking that you join me in supporting this fire sales-tax issue.
Vote yes on June 8.
HARRY E. REDIGER