Op-Ed: Public Safety Should Always Be a Top Priority

By Fred Capone

Public Safety is central to the well-being of a community and its residents. Every resident should feel safe and respected.

Until just recent, Everett failed to hire any firefighters since 2016, despite more than 25 members leaving the Department, the addition of a casino, a hotel and numerous large-scale construction projects.  This failure to properly staff in order to address the increased risks put both firefighters and members of our community at greater risk.  Additionally, failure to hire members during attrition resulted in the lost institutional knowledge more senior members could have shared.  By the time these new members were hired, those members with 30 or more years of experience on the job already left.  Extensive experience and invaluable mentorship possibilities vanished.  This wasted opportunity should never be allowed to happen again.  Moreover, when a Department is understaffed, as Everett was, we don’t qualify for grants to cover the cost of additional firefighter personnel.  The inability to receive free funding for firefighters is another wasted opportunity that should never happen again.

I want to see police officers back on the beat in our neighborhoods.  The increased interaction between residents and police officers is beneficial on many fronts.  First, officers and residents will get to know one another better.  These interactions will foster a level of trust that will improve communication.  Improved communication will better enable officers to effectively address resident concerns.  The working relationships between residents and officers will improve and will enhance the safety of our neighborhoods.  I would also like to study the feasibility of a satellite police station in Everett Square to increase accessibility. 

As a community, we need to do a better job addressing mental illness, homelessness and addiction issues. The extent of the problem is open and obvious – in the center of Everett Square and throughout our entire city.  We can’t continue to ignore reality.

As Mayor, Public Safety will always be a top priority.  For other areas of concern or ideas, please visit my webpage at www.fredcaponeforeverett.com

Fred Capone is a City Councilor and a Candidate for Mayor.

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