This week, we asked the candidates:
- What do you think is the biggest public safety concern for Dunedin residents, and how do you plan to address it, if you are elected?
Dave Eggers responds:
Public Safety is the major focus and responsibility of every elected official, every staff person and every teacher and parent in our City. We have equipped ourselves with the best fire department, a professional Sheriff’s Department, while being augmented by our DIVERT volunteers, our staff and our Public Safety and Social Services Committee. Safety concerns range from storm surge problems, fire and EMS response times and coverage, home invasions, to child safety, to senior protection, to domestic violence, to public utility protection and to traffic control and all have our attention. One growing area of concern is the onslaught of legal drug abuse, the devastation to families and the underlying criminal activity emanating from this growing industry.
When there is an overdose, our fire department is equipped with the highest quality response there is available and have done so with incredible professionalism. Having a new fire station moved up onto Michigan will improve response times even more. The abuse of legalized drugs seems more prevalent and according to the Sheriff’s office, it affects all ages as we unknowingly become addicted. As a community we can bring more attention to this problem of addiction, and on how accessing those drugs can occur by others looking for “recreational” abuse. There are countless sad stories in our community of how family members became addicted and even sadder how the ensuing collateral damage made things worse for the family and community.
The criminal activity around legal drug abuse includes home invasion either looking for product or money to further their new recreational addiction or looking to raise money to help buy and sell as a dealer. Having our homes invaded, our cars burglarized or our neighborhood intimidated begins to erode the well being of our homes, our city blocks and eventually our neighborhoods. Those very neighborhoods, safety personnel and city officials working together can begin to rebuild a community affected by criminal activity.
In essence the legal drug abuse is destroying individual lives, family units and neighborhood safety creating a crisis for all of us. Creating more and more awareness of this addiction process is critical if we are to keep any of our family members from becoming addicted in the first place. Our Social Services Committee has created a “211” directory of contacts for our residents, and this committee could further help educate families of this “silent” drug problem that is happening in many of our homes.
I think we need to continue reaching out with our Sheriff’s Department to create more neighborhood awareness and more neighborhood watches. That activity coupled with the Sheriff’s “just lock your car and home doors” campaign can do a lot to deter crime. In short, legalized drugs are destroying lives and family units and creating more criminal activity to support the behavior. More education and more deterrent techniques from our own committees partnering with the Sheriff and fire department can go along way to helping awareness of a major growing problem in our communities.
See also, Bob Hackworth's reponse.
- Patch Podium: Dave Eggers on Spurring Development
- Dave Eggers on the Patch Podium: Quality of Life
- Dave Eggers on the Patch Podium: Experience