To the editor:
I have been following the local news reports concerning this most concerning problem our lovely committee has had with the Fort Myers Police Department.
To me the answer is obvious, first and foremost is the age old axiom "follow the money." I'm not suggesting to just throw money at a problem and it will go away. Oh no, no, no. I'm saying the politicians should fully fund the programs they get up on their soapboxes and shoot their mouths off during the campaign season.
They win the election then go back to their smoked-filled room in the back of the pool hall and underfund the very programs they had been shouting about a few months earlier.
Can't you see the con? There is even a name for it; it's called "bait and switch."
The concept is simple; the con man (the politician) advertises, promotes and sells a certain product or idea. When it comes delivery time, he switches to an inferior product which he or she claims the mark (you) bought in the first place. More specifically in the case of our local law enforcement agency, the politician gets elected on the age-old pitch, "I'm going to get tough on crime."
Sounds good, doesn't it? They get elected and then the reality of a budget sets in and they underfund the very programs they said they were going to promote. When that happens, the police department doesn't have the money to do a proper job to protect and serve the citizens of our community.
It's a great show to get published in the local newspaper saying that the council is providing body cameras, cameras in public places, purchase new fully outfitted police cruisers, employ additional 911 operators. In all of the print and news media out there, the evil word "money" is only mentioned rarely. When it is, the politicians are quick to point out that the Fort Myers Police Foundation is doing its best to raise $100,000 for their own cause to help out with this ongoing problem we have. Good for them.
Thing is, when you have a big problem you need big solutions which usually translates into big money. Please note that not one of the solutions suggested to date has the word money associated with it. Simply put we need more boots on the ground. That costs real money. It's not cheap, but neither are our property taxes. It's time for the mayor and council to step up to the trough and find the resources to protect and serve the community they swore to keep out of harm's way.
North Fort Myers