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An open letter to the New Garden Township Board of Supervisors

05/20/2014 04:13PM, Published by ACL, Categories: In Print

This past Monday evening, at the monthly meeting of the New Garden Board of Supervisors, there was a presentation given by former supervisor Bob Norris and Gerald Simpson, the New Garden Chief of Police. The hour-long presentation asked something of you that is far too infrequently used at gatherings of this kind. It asked you to use your vision. “The New Garden Police Facility Business Analysis,” a document that calls for the design, construction and eventual opening of a new facility for the New Garden Police Department. During the presentation, Norris and Simpson presented three options: to construct a new facility from scratch; to purchase and renovate an existing building within the township; or to retro-fit the department within the township building, with the idea of adding on to meet the 8,000-square-foot needs of the department. The ideas expressed in the presentation were neither grandiose or excessive, but merely a list of administrative tools the department will need to bring them to the industry standards. 

You were told that building a facility of this kind will expect to cost in excess of $2 million, no matter what option is selected. No doubt that the weight of other township services and departments, each of whom reach into the limited grab bag of township funding, hover like a financial albatross around your duties. Yet, consider this: What will the cost be of choosing not to upgrade your police department?

Chief Simpson and his staff are housed in a crammed, sausage-link of temporary trailers, because their former facility – it too, a trailer – was shut down because of a severe mold problem. When you weigh your decisions on what the future will hold for the department who protects your township's families, we ask that you remember this. We also ask: Do you want to be remembered for your time on the board as someone who saved the township a little money? Or do you want to be remembered as a supervisor who scratched the edges and corners of every available source of funding, in order to give your police department the facility that it so desperately needs? No one remembers penny pinchers. Visionaries, however, get their names inscribed on plaques.

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