Editors note: This is the Lincoln Peace Officers Association's response to Wednesday morning's online posting of Stan Nader and Mike Miller's column.
Councilman Stan Nader and Lincoln resident Mike Miller,
In response to your guest column as published in the Lincoln News Messenger, dated May, 31, 2012, titled “City Leadership Requires Bold Leadership,” on behalf of the Lincoln Peace Officers Association, we agree that the city does need bold leadership to ensure its success. However, we do question two major points mentioned by you in the article. Specifically, “Over the past five to six years, the delivery model for public safety in Lincoln has become unsustainable. The budget for police has increased by 60 percent while the number of officers has dropped by more than 20 percent. While police and fire consume the vast majority of the General Fund budget, their ability to deliver basic services has diminished.”
On Wednesday, May 23rd, in the State of the City 2012 address, as presented by Mayor Spencer Short, at the Heritage Theatre, which you Councilman Nader were present for, in 2008 there were 41 full time allocated Police Officer positions and 22.5 in 2012 (currently only 19 actual officers). This is a decrease of 45% in the same reporting period you mentioned. For the Police Department budget, as displayed in this same meeting, in 2008, the Police Department budget was $7.7 million and in 2012 $5.6 million, a decrease of 27%. This information is available on the City of Lincoln’s website: www.ci.lincoln.ca.us.
As you can see, there is a dramatic difference from the information you are providing versus the information provided by the City of Lincoln last week.
In an effort to better understand your perspective, could you please cite your sources for the 60% budget increase and 20% personnel decrease? Regarding your statement of our diminished ability to deliver basic services, could you cite your research where you quantified and measured our inability to deliver said services?
Vice President, Lincoln Peace Officers Association