Public Safety

We could not agree more with this opinion piece in the Sacramento Bee that public safety funding should be the first public good protected and the last public good reduced, when funding decisions are being made.

As a former resident of Gold River, and now Sierra Oaks, the ability of both neighborhoods to hire private security only makes it more important that for the larger community of public neighborhoods who do not have this option, that they be protected by the existing public safety institutions, whose funding should remain sustainable to achieve that public end.

Public safety is also an important issue for the American River Parkway, which is seeing increased use while the possibility of ranger patrols being reduced is very real.

Public safety should be the priority, in neighborhoods and in the Parkway.

An excerpt.

“You know you are losing all sense of local public governance when the ground zero core of service – law enforcement, our courts and district attorney – become decimated in counties and cities.

“Regardless of how one feels about the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department or the district attorney, they are the first responders when it comes to social stability.

“As a Gold River resident, I feel every bit as strongly about the devastating cuts to our health care clinics, parks and recreation, and social welfare programs. These are reductions that in the long term will eat at the social fabric of our diverse communities.

“But at the heart of Sacramento County’s social compact are the immediate services communities need to prevent street chaos.

“I recently joined with key community leaders to meet with all five members of the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors. They recognize that public safety is primary in the providing of county public services.

“Yet what is paradoxical is that few people come out in support for public safety. Part of the reason is that people expect those services will always be there. A more significant explanation is a political climate that for too long has denied the imperative of responsive governance.

“For the affluent among us, mandated social services are not relevant and we have found some degree of safety in suburban havens, such as Gold River, with privatized law enforcement or gated communities away from Sacramento’s impoverished urban decay.”

About David H Lukenbill

I am a native of Sacramento, as are my wife and daughter. I am a consultant to nonprofit organizations, and have a Bachelor of Science degree in Organizational Behavior and a Master of Public Administration degree, both from the University of San Francisco. We live along the American River with two cats and all the wild critters we can feed. I am the founding president of the American River Parkway Preservation Society and currently serve as the CFO and Senior Policy Director. I also volunteer as the President of The Lampstand Foundation, a nonprofit organization I founded in 2003.
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