The next meeting of the Police Facility task force is THIS THURSDAY, JAN. 15, 6-8 pm, at Broadway Commons, 1300 Broadway NE (1 block north of Salem Cinema) in the Keizer room on the Second floor. There is plenty of parking behind the building.The chair will release the "task forces" recommendations at that time. We expect it to say things which would clearly put the police facility back on the civic center grounds (in the middle of Mirror Pond).Please come and bring lots of friends. It is really , really important that the public be there to see and hear what happens. Visitors can also ask for time to speak. This will likely be the first and last time the public will be able to express any opinion on where the police facility should be.The people to write to are theCity Manager Linda Norris <email@example.com>Task Force members:Jason Brandt: Jason@salemchamber.orgSheronne Blasi <firstname.lastname@example.org>Monty King: email@example.comJohn Latimer: firstname.lastname@example.orgGeoffrey James <email@example.com>Paul Rice <firstname.lastname@example.org>Claudia Burton <email@example.com>Warren Bednarz <firstname.lastname@example.org>Steven McCoid: SMcCoid@OregonRLA.org
Monday, January 12, 2015
There is no doubt about the need to bring police out of the death trap basement tomb they're in now. What there is plenty of dispute about is that replicating the facility a few feet over makes any sense.
Given Salem's horrendous sprawl and vulnerability to the Big Quake due at any point, the wiser option is to split the force into HQ (which can be anywhere, really) and then into at least two operating precincts, north and south ... Say, Portland Road and Mission St. There is abundant underused space and empty commercial structures available for conversion into public facilities, with plenty of cheap land for surface parking for police vehicles, and quicker access to all parts of the city.
Best of all, the we could think creatively and build (or repurpose existing buildings) for community centers with police, branch libraries, and community meeting rooms and public services spaces to boot -- multipurpose spaces that would foster community policing and engagement instead of isolation and the fortress mentality.
The powers that be seem bullishly determined to build another police fortress at the civic center, but they only get to propose, since it will require a bond. So, THURSDAY NIGHT, come to Broadway Commons and tell the task force that -- like the Third Bridge -- "We're Not Buying It" and that they're going to have to start over with a clean piece of paper if they want any public support when it comes time for funding.
There is NO NEED for a single behemoth police facility in these days of 24/7 connectivity.
(Isn't it odd how these meetings to discuss spendy projects always seem to conveniently avoid being scheduled in locations where CCTV could broadcast them as they happen?)
"Let's live on the planet as if we intend to stay."