We, the Selma Police Officers’ Association (SPOA) are not opposed to a new police [station], despite some rumors. What the SPOA is opposed to is the idea of funding the construction project through a bond.
It was only nine years ago when our current Measure S was passed and supported by the good citizens of Selma to help our public safety sector. Measure S included the idea of building a joint police and fire building. Unfortunately, the handling of the Measure S fund has had many citizens scratching their heads and wondering where and how those funds were allocated. The SPOA would also like to know.
Consideration of funding a new police building must be made against the backdrop of the City’s current and future financial status. We cannot ignore the fact the City has requested all departments to cut 4% from their budget for the 2016-2017 year and may possibly be over half a million dollars in debt.
This has caused a discussion among City officials regarding possible layoffs. To approve a nine million dollar construction project amidst these circumstances would be untimely at best. Although we understanding that the city might get a four million dollar grant to help pay for the building, it would still be in the position to seek five million dollars from its citizens.
The SPOA understands that the building of the new police station will not affect the City’s general fund, staffing or current budget. However, considering the history of Measure S and the current lack of support from the community, the SPOA cannot support a plan that would ask the citizens to pay for a building it might not be able fully staff. Thank you.