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Public Safety Initiatives

I believe that we can increase the level of public safety in Westfield without breaking the bank to do it.  Properly staffed, trained, and equipped police and fire departments are the foundation of a safe community.

As Mayor of Westfield, I would focus my attention on the morale and professional development of our first responders.  I would have both group and individual conversations with the people on the front line of public safety.  I would ensure that every employee of the police and fire departments not only has a clearly-defined career path, but also understands what that path is.  I would also make certain that the proper training was available to support these career paths.

I believe that our population growth demands a proactive, not reactive, approach to public safety.  We must not only maintain or current public safety infrastructure, but we must also stay well ahead of population growth estimates when growing that infrastructure.  Our police and fire departments must always be equipped with more than is required, instead of just enough to get by.

Since public safety should inherently include our public schools, I will work with the Westfield Washington School District to place at least one police officer and one fire fighter in each of the district's school buildings every day that students and/or faculty are in the building.  Many cities around the country are now doing this as a means to ensure that first-responders are readily available, instead of rapidly responding.

Having police officers and fire fighters permanently assigned to each of our schools will have multiple positive benefits.  First, of course, is their status as readily available in an emergency situation.  A definite positive byproduct of this will be the level of communication available to the response teams when they arrive.  Onsite personnel will be able to give a much more accurate assessment of a situation to these response teams.  

Our children should have the opportunity to develop positive relationships and a shared understanding of our public safety personnel and their role in our community.  I believe that this will actually increase our children's feelings that school can be a safe and secure environment, in a world where, all too often, they see the opposite on the television news cycle.

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