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Posted on Aug 11, 2017

Letter to the editor: Please revive a dying department

Although our city continues to grow in many ways, one area is in dire straits. The astronomical effect is like the one domino that can send the others crashing down. What am I speaking of? We have a dying police department. As our city expands, the necessity that the department grows is vital for our protection. We talk of having businesses thrive, and having a safe community for our children. However, who will respond to calls and crimes in progress when officers are reduced in number? Is the city actually safe? No! Just as many threads woven together form a cohesive, beautiful tapestry, our police force is an integral part of our multifaceted city. We must help our police department grow and thrive.
Quincy has had amazing officers come and go. At least 11 have left voluntarily in the last three years. When a citizen meets an officer and shortly thereafter finds out the officer has left, how does this build the citizen’s trust in the department?
A major issue that must be addressed is the officers’ schedules. One officer, without being consulted, has been required to work nine days straight and given only one day off before working an additional seven days straight with little to no compensation. The only reasons for this are poor management and refusal to pay overtime. The consequences are unrested officers and unstable schedules. This leaves their families very concerned for their safety.
This is only a small example of a much greater problem. Officers have fought to receive a mere portion of that given to similarly sized agencies in our area. When these grievances go unaddressed, whether intentionally or not, there is great dissatisfaction. These problems need resolved before we lose more officers.
So, to the city administration, if you desire a safe city, then stop allowing the police department to flounder, putting their welfare aside. The officers’ lives are dedicated to protecting, serving, and enhancing the quality of life for our citizens. Please work to protect, serve, and enhance the quality of life for our officers.
Citizens, please urge the city administration to promote our police force by making it a department that draws and retains excellent officers. Please encourage the city management to listen and act on the concerns of our officers, not to let the threads of our city unravel, leaving our tapestry in dire need of repair.
A Concerned Police Officer’s Wife,
Quincy

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