Letter: Stop cutting from public safety - East Valley Tribune: Opinion

Letter: Stop cutting from public safety

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Posted: Thursday, March 8, 2012 2:37 pm

I know where my tax dollars are going, and I’m not happy about it. After reading about the Republican’s proposed Arizona budget, I visited http://www.azdatapages.com/datacenter/government/salaries

-arizona-employees.html to find out exactly where my tax money is going. There are 676 Arizona government employees who make over $100,000. The number of people employed by the Department of Corrections at this pay level is especially interesting. My tax dollars employ thirty dentists, twenty-eight physicians, and a countless hoard of other medical personnel to serve prison inmates.

In this new proposed budget, Arizona’s maximum security inmates will be moved to medium security housing. The department purportedly cannot afford maximum security. I’m not fully protected against these criminals, but it’s comforting to know that when they attack, their teeth will be clean.

Meanwhile, the Department of Public Safety has to fire 73 officers with this new budget because those officer salaries now have to pay for an increased number of retired employee pensions. Well good. Fewer officers on duty, fewer criminals caught; we won’t have to pay for their dental care as well.

Cut the excess within programs, that’s the answer to our budget problems. The Department of Corrections can find places to cut spending before resorting to the reduction of public safety. Pensions need to be adjusted or we will lose all of our active officers.

I am not an advocate of firing employees, but government salaries, pensions, and benefits are excessive. The recession is tough; all of us are cutting back. So should the government.

Cami Anderson

Mesa

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