Letters: Reader concerned about cuts to local law enforcement hours

To the editor:

I was extremely disappointed to read that our city council voted to reduce the safety of our community by trimming law enforcement hours.

This is following a 2008 request by the city to increase law enforcement coverage from the now requested 48 to 52 hours.

Have things changed that much in the past five years in our community to warrant a decrease?

Maybe it was the whopping 2 percent drop in crime reports over these past five years? It certainly wasn’t because Monticello has the county’s second highest occurrence of multiple types of crime including murder, criminal sexual conduct, robbery, burglary, motor vehicle theft, among others.

Of note, citizens should be aware that with the 52-hour contract, we are also getting an investigator and a sergeant.

Say bye-bye to them, and then say thank you to Clint, Glen, Lloyd and Tom for keeping the safety of the citizens of Monticello at the forefront of their agenda.

Why don’t you go spend some money on FiberNet, cell phone towers or other really important things?

Melissa Hendrickson
Monticello

  • Robb

    They have FiberNet to pay for! Perhaps they’re counting on everyone staying inside and using their super fast internet so nobody will have TIME to go outside to cause trouble.

  • Monticello resident responds

    I too was disappointed in the city council’s reduction of law enforcement hours when they have plenty of other areas of the budget that could be reduced. You can’t put a price on safety and the mayor wants to cut the hours and then “see how it goes?” yet he is totally comfortable with throwing $250,000 to $300,00 at a tower in the “hopes” of recouping those costs over 15-16 years- maybe?! Not a good investment of taxpayer dollars. A better investment is in safety for adequate law enforcement hours.

    Monticello is perfectly located with easy on and off from I-94. Drug dealers, gangs and criminals love our interstate access. Makes it easy to get in and out, do their business here and then travel on. Just because you don’t know about it doesn’t mean it isn’t happening. Ask any law enforcement officer and find out for yourself. Monticello is not St. Michael or Albertville so for council to ask about the amount of law enforcement hours compared to here, is not a worthwhile exercise. We have our own unique crime issues.

    The city administrator and council have been spending money without regard for the truly important citizen needs. Throwing more money at Fibernet related costs, like the tower, when the city cannot even make a profit yet, is premature. It’s throwing good money at bad and putting our community safety at risk by reducing law enforcement hours instead of waiting to build a tower until Fibernet FIRST makes some profit from existing infrastructure.

    Maybe the city wants to brainwash citizens into thinking Fibernet should be just like the Community Center – something that NEVER makes a profit. Let’s see what citizens think of this when the council votes to approve the upcoming $5.75 Million G.O. Bonds (General Obligation) backed by taxpayer dollars!

  • kevin

    The city of Monticello now has a part-time communications coordinator.
    Rachel Leonard, a St. Cloud State graduate student and former Monticello Community Center employee, was officially hired after city council members approved a consent agenda item Aug. 12 establishing a new 20 hours per week, part-time position. Leonard will work under the general supervision of City Administrator Jeff O’Neill.
    In a background memo, O’Neill and Tracy Ergen, human resources manager, stated Leonard’s primary focus the first six months will be supporting FiberNet Monticello marketing and communication efforts…… Essentially, unelected city officials have decided to replace police protection with a Fiber Net cheerleader.

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