Letters to the Editor

Fred Warchol: Get more officers for Atwater – now!

Merced has earned the distinction as “one of the most dangerous cities in America,” the result of gangs, shootings and illegal drug dealings.

Here in Atwater, criminal activity has not been deterred by boundary lines. After all, criminals don’t pay attention to city limit signs.

While our nation is protected from foreign threats by the military, locally we rely on our police. However, Atwater has only half the number of police officers needed for a city our size – less than 1 per 1,000 residents. Our understaffed police work a massive amount of overtime, resulting in danger to the public and to the exhausted officers who must make split-second decisions.

In response, citizens voted to increase the sales tax to fund public safety. To date, $500,000 has been collected and banked. It’s time to end the debate on spending funds on nice-to-have equipment and to ignore dubious advice from so-called advisers. Atwater needs more police boots on the ground.

Start hiring more police officers, now!