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Thank you for supporting public safety tax
As you may expect, I was very pleased with the results of the April 3rd election. For me, this ballot question of adding the half-cent sales tax for the public safety departments of the city of Jackson was about showing support for the police and fire departments and the work they do to keep us safe.
I am grateful to live in a community that supports its police and fire officers and the departments that serve them. This is not the case in some communities around the country.
All those who shop in Jackson will contribute to this investment which will enable the City of Jackson to provide increased patrols, increased training, state of the art technology/equipment and adequate working space for the police and fire departments. In addition, our SRO program with the Jackson R-2 School District will be increased to provide more protection for our schools, kids and teachers.
Very important, as well, is that our officers will be safer by having adequate backup resources when they are on the job. Keeping those safe that keep us safe is a major imperative.
There are some other advantages that the additional revenue will provide. The building of a new police station and expansion of the fire department space will enable the city to move the Municipal Court out of the City Hall. This has been a concern of safety for some time. Municipal court in City Hall has restricted other city operations because of the space that is required. Finally, it has caused a parking issue in the uptown area on court day.
Adding of an additional school resource officer will provide the ability to add police patrols of our city parks during the summer time. Since school is not in session during the summer months when our parks are busiest the SRO's are freed up to patrol the parks and other areas of the city. Many times this provides opportunities to interact with school age children during summer recess period.
I would like to thank those who helped to educate the public during our campaign. It is always important to have educated voters on all ballot issues. In addition, we are always challenged to get the vote out in April elections. With this being the only ballot issue it was very important to remind our residents to vote. Many citizens were helpful in reminding their friends to vote on social media sites as well as personal contacts. The city staff, Chief Humphries, Chief Mouser and the officers of the police and fire departments were also very helpful in providing information to the citizens and arranging tours of our present facilities.
So what happens now? The new half-cent sales tax will begin being collected in October of this year. The city will begin receiving the revenue at the end of the year. Plans will be made to begin add staffing during the last half of the year and early next year.
The process for the new police building has already begun with the facilities needs study which was produced two years ago and refined as we prepared for the election. We will begin the design-build process immediately and hope to have our contractor/designer picked by the end of the year. Building of the police station will start late this year or early next year. I will keep you informed of our progress.
Thank you again for your support of Keeping Jackson Safe.
Dwain Hahs serves as mayor of the city of Jackson. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.