April 5, 2011, is an important date in the history of the Blue Springs Police Department, and one of the most since I first was employed there in December 1965. It is also an important moment for the safety of our community.

April 5, 2011, is an important date in the history of the Blue Springs Police Department, and one of the most since I first was employed there in December 1965. It is also an important moment for the safety of our community.


On April 5, Blue Springs voters have the opportunity to pass a sales tax initiative that will provide a much-needed radio system, add officers to patrol our streets, and add space to buildings. Blue Springs is a great community, and one that has been my home for more than 55 years. City safety and our Police Department have always been an important factor in making it great.


The growth of the city has caused many challenges over the years. When I started in 1965, the city was by itself, far from other city borders with open land as a buffer. Now the population has expanded and filled in all the open space, with Blue Springs bordered by the major metropolitan area.


In 1986, Blue Springs had a population of 32,600. Since then, it has grown 60 percent in population with more miles of roads and development.


The radio system purchased in that time period no longer is safe for our officers, with dropped calls due to distance and terrain. Officers are not able to talk directly to other police departments or to the Central Jackson County Fire Protection District in emergencies.


The police building was one of the highlights in my career when it was built in 1987. However, 24 years later, it no longer has enough space. Our neighborhoods need additional officers to help stop thieves from breaking into our houses and cars and to make our roadways safer.


By passing this tax, our officers and citizens will be safer every day. Not only will officers be able to be heard on their radios, but minimum manpower levels will be increased to ensure that officers can respond more quickly to emergencies, take more time if needed at a call to catch suspects and have a backup officer available if needed when making a dangerous arrest.


The dedicated men and women of the Blue Springs Police Department serve our community in an often thankless job. We need to help them do it well by providing needed resources to be safe and keep us all safe. Please support our Police Department by voting “yes” on Tuesday.