Measure X proposes to increase Modestos sales tax by 1 percent.
If Measure X is defeated, the Modesto City Council may be forced out of necessity to disband the Police Department and contract services with the Stanislaus County sheriff.
About 75 percent of the citys discretionary budget funds public safety. Without additional revenue, the city cannot employ a sufficient number of officers to provide satisfactory service. This past year, crime has spiked upward of 20 percent.
At about half the per capita national average of officers per thousand citizens, Modesto is presently staffed at an historic low. If police service seems inadequate, blame the lack of manpower. Police officers are not overpaid.
The cities of Riverbank and Patterson previously had their own police forces. Within the past 20 years, the respective city councils determined that their cities could no longer afford their departments. They contracted with the Stanislaus County sheriff.
What kind of community do you want to live in?
BRUCE R. FROHMAN
Editors note: In the City Councils preliminary discussion of what might be cut if Measure X fails, no one has suggested disbanding the Modesto Police Department.