Amid retrospection on the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on the United States, it struck me as sad that collectively the citizens of West Linn have been treating our own police force so poorly. We expect them to operate out of an overcrowded, dangerous building that should be condemned.

I've read that we don't need many police in West Linn because of our low crime rate. Quite the contrary, our crime rate is low because we have such a proactive police force that checks out suspicious behavior that may get a pass elsewhere.

We expect our house alarms to have a response and our complaints to be answered in person. They have apprehended many mail and identification thieves and stopped burglaries and drug transactions in progress. The recent home invasions point out two realities: first, West Linn is an affluent target for mobile criminals and second, West Linn is not a good place for bad guys to do business.

To keep our community from being victimized, we need to have first-class primary responders. The two new fire stations have us half way. A home for our police can complete the need that we have had for decades. The price is low and the setting has been vetted by a diverse group of citizens.

There are only two locations possible, and one was rejected by the voters. The savings we will obtain by building now will save us a bundle in future taxes.

We have an incredible leader in Police Chief (Terry) Timeus, and the second tier in command is personable, professional and experienced. They have rebuilt our force with quality men and women. We must retain our great officers, and recruit the best. But to do that, we need to treat them better.

Dennis Richey

West Linn

(Editor's note: Richey was previously chair of the police advisory committee and is currently chair of the Public Safety Advisory Board in West Linn.)

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