2009-02-05 / Letters to the Editor

Number of officers is in keeping with safe community

As a former professor of criminal justice, it is necessary to address Kaan Kurt's closing paragraph in his letter to the editor in the Jan. 22 edition titled, "Station renovations are unnecessary." Mr. Kurt presented the premise that Jamestown does not need to pay for 15 police officers and offered as support the closing sentence, "It's not like James town has a lot of criminals or violence."

The Jamestown Police Department maintains three, eight-hour rotations every 24 hours, 365 days a year with a mandated minimum manning of two police offi- cers per rotation. Not infrequently, a rotation may require

a third or even fourth cer to be added. In manning

each rotation, allowances

have to be made for vacation time, personal time, compensation time and unavailability due to illness. Due to those considerations and the finite number of police officers and dependent upon upcoming events, it is not unusual for an officer's pre-submitted request for time off to be deferred. Nor is it unusual for any police officer's requisite off-time to be interrupted by a call to report in due to unexpected events.

Although, as Mr. Kurt noted, Jamestown's land mass is nine plus square miles, it is folly to overlook that the Town of James town includes an additional surrounding ocean area of 26 square miles which requires ongoing police oversight. The year-round population of over 5,600 residents significantly swells between May and October heightening the duty of diligence for the entire department.

The statement in support of why Jamestown does not need to pay for 15 police officers is relative, void for vagueness and thus falters. While Jamestown does not experience drive by shootings, gang-related homicides or a myriad of other mayhems, Jamestown does in fact have it's proportionate share of criminal activity which increases exponentially with the rate of the town's growth. That James town does enjoy a narrow margin of criminal activity inarguably resides in the high visibility of the presence of police officers on patrol.

In light of the above, and for sake of brevity, omitting their professional participation in various community outreach programs initiated by the police department, a complement of 15 police offi cers is statistically sound and justified. Karen Melucci Jamestown

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