Public Safety

First, before all the things that make our communities vibrant with parks and public events and trails, we have to feel safe.  In the past few years the problems with transients in Loveland have escalated and more traditional methods of working with this varied and problematic population have been less effective.

In Loveland we have designed the services that we can offer to those experiencing homelessness around trying to serve them where they 
are.  We no longer write tickets that carry a monetary fine.  Instead folks are given an assignment to one of an array of classes held at our House Of Neighborly Services, classes on Interview Skills, Household Finance or Job Skills, among others.  Several people experiencing homelessness in the past couple of years have taken advantage of this hand up and have found work and housing and are on their way to successful reintegration into the community.

Looking Ahead

As I sit through Judiciary Committees lasting long into the night I have to wonder if we all think of “public safety” in the same way. I think of it as ensuring that we have adequate laws that represent a social contract among our citizens. We agree that stealing from one another is bad, that the possession and use of certain drugs has negative consequences for our neighbors and that violent or negative actions between one another should have consequences. I think it’s important that we have an equal footing when we are accused of criminal behavior and that we ensure there are resources available for those individuals who could not afford those on their own. With that in mind I think we could have a pretty fair guarantee that our public’s safety would be ensured, that we might have, as our Founders termed it, “domestic tranquility”. But that simple idea is not so simple, not when we heard bills (that ultimately were signed into law) reducing the penalties for possession of Schedule I and II drugs like heroin and methamphetamine or banning the ability for employers to ask, up front, about a felony conviction or listening to people talk about those who can’t pay bail and are kept in jail as being in “debtors prison”. It would seem that in the current, one party led legislature, the world of simple agreements as to our social contract are not so simple.

Some of these ideas, such as finding ways to reintegrate folks after incarceration, might have merit. The wholesale application of them in the last year has been excessive. I will be looking for support in rolling back some of these changes, scouring our state for the effect of taking such steps. Everyone needs to feel like we are doing all we can to make sure that our communities are safe. I stand behind our law enforcement officers, behind the guys and gals that put on their rig every night and head out the door. One of the finest officers I know, when he leaves every night to go to work reads on the door to his garage, “Come home safe”. That about sums it up. 

Natural Resources
Public Safety
Second Amendment