The vote for the city's special operating levy for police services went down a second time. A new vote will come up on May 15, and we need to tell our friends, family members, teachers, and anyone who is a voter to pay attention to this.

We now have a very knowledgeable and experienced chief of police in Terry Timeus. This chief has an open door policy; just give him a call. He will gladly meet with you and is very open to citizens' issues and/or suggestions.

Not only is he well liked by those who have met him, but his officers respect him. We have a great police force who have to cover a great deal of territory. I wonder how many people, especially new people, realize how much territory is involved in the city of West Linn that has to be watched over by our police. West Linn is huge, running from Highway 43 on out near the exchange of I-205. Our officers have to be there for us and watch out for all of us.

The world has changed and West Linn has changed. We now have more DUIs than before. We have car break-ins and burglaries. We have many more people living in West Linn than say five, 10 or 20 years ago. Crime has risen everywhere.

I have lived here since 1963. At that time, I believe there were approximately 2,300 people living here. That number has now climbed to about 23,000+ and still growing.

In 1963, people thought nothing of leaving the front doors unlocked, something no one does anywhere anymore. So, we must understand how very important this vote is and then make every effort to vote and remind others to vote.

We, all of us, are jeopardizing our own safety if we lose some of our officers. There is only so much ground officers can cover. If we cut the number of working officers in half, we are then going to lay ourselves open for those who want to enter West Linn for their own purposes (i.e., break into homes, automobiles, armed robberies, and whatever other purpose they seek).

The drug problem now reaches into every community, and that includes ours. People on crack would definitely drive out to West Linn if they felt they could get away with anything because there aren't enough officers around.

Let's face it. Nothing is as safe as it used to be. Those of us in West Linn have lived in a bubble - feeling safe and protected, but who are you going to call and who is going to help you and your family if every officer is already out working in West Linn and no other officer is available because the staff was cut.

Watch the news. Read your newspapers. Think about our lovely West Linn and the fact that we need to keep it safe for ourselves, our families, and especially our children.

According to Update, the city's monthly newsletter, West Linn voters overwhelmingly voted in favor of renewing the city's special operating levy for police services in the March 13 special election. However, it did not pass because not enough people voted. Only 45 percent of West Linn voters cast ballots; that's less than the 50 percent required by law.

The policy levy renewal measure will be referred to voters again in the May 15 election, the last election date available to ensure continued funding of police services.

Pass the word: remind everyone you know to vote.

Madaline Allen is a resident of West Linn.

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