Letter: In Webster, a pricey police department
In Webster over the recent years there has been much discussion, debate and consternation about the local police department. Is it necessary, is it too small, too big, do we get the best value for our tax dollars, do we need a cruiser for each officer, should the officers take their cruiser home and on and on it goes.
A few years ago the town said we do not need such a large police department, and the budget was significantly reduced to reflect the will of the people at town meeting. Well, those cuts seem to have been recaptured by the selectmen. The part-time chief who was making approximately $30,000 annually three years ago has watched his salary balloon to over $51,000 annually – as a part-timer!
As a Webster resident who has seen his taxes increase more than 30 percent in six years, I find it unconscionable that while everyone else is tightening their belts, a town of 1,800 residents, with no real businesses in town, requires a police department that consumes approximately 35 percent of the town’s total budget. Webster residents have a decision to make in a few weeks. The police department serves a vital role in our community and I support its role, but is this the one Webster really needs or can afford?