Firefighters should be able to afford a house in the city they serve

Dear Editor,
On March 24, Don Pierce suggested we simply cut police and fire
budgets to repair sidewalks and fund the library.
Clearly he doesn’t understand the expense of operating law
enforcement and fire protection.
Dear Editor,

On March 24, Don Pierce suggested we simply cut police and fire budgets to repair sidewalks and fund the library.

Clearly he doesn’t understand the expense of operating law enforcement and fire protection. You do have to pay those guys who risk their lives for you on a daily basis. I don’t know what the police and fire guys actually get paid in Gilroy, but they deserve every penny of it.

They should be able to afford one of those $750,000 tract homes in the town where they work.

They are people just like you who have dreams and work hard to achieve them. And I’ll bet that most of them couldn’t afford to buy your house, Don.

I don’t know if he would be so trite about it when his house is burning down and the 911 operator says, “Sorry our fire guys are about 30 minutes out because we’ve gutted the fire department budget, and we only have one truck. They’re at an accident on the other side of town. They’ll get there.eventually.”

Would he think it so simple if his wife were being raped or his car was just taken at gunpoint and the 911 operator said, “We’ll be there eventually. We’ve only got two officers working right now. We had to cut back to fund the library and repair the sidewalks.

Both officers are busy now, but as soon as we can get one free we’ll be right there.”

To keep good help, you have to pay the help well. If you gut the benefits and cut the pay of your local police and fire guys and gals, the quality of service you receive will be reduced by attrition when the good employees defect to communities that pay their officers and firefighters well.

Then Gilroy will be left with those who can’t get a job anywhere else.

How about going back to a volunteer fire department and using the Sheriff’s posse when the violent felons get out of control.

The response times will be a bit long, but hey at least you’ll have a nice sidewalk.

Rick Thoma, Gilroy

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