We're living in a time when our society is trying to come to grips with a wide range of serious problems. Standing at the forefront in the battle to maintain our collective safety and security are the sworn members of our law enforcement community. Unfortunately for them, the ability to confront these problems head-on is often impeded by manpower issues due to lack of sufficient funds.

Officers have enough to deal with each day as they handle their duties...and they never know what might happen when they respond to that next call. When staff cuts force them to run from one call to the next with no break in the immediate future, when manpower levels are so low that the average person would throw his or her hands in the air and walk away from it all, they continue to press on with diligence, professionalism and holding dear that oath that each of them took at the time they joined the force.

As a resident of Springfield Township, I have come to expect only the best possible effort from our Police Department - and that's exactly what each officer works to provide each day.

What a shame that they're forced to meet their daily demands with a staff of only 12 officers available to patrol our neighborhoods. Absolutely unfair, in my opinion. That number, lest anyone forget, is a little more than half as many officers who were available to handle these duties not long ago. It's not only a shame...but it would be shameful on our part as citizens not to step-up when the time comes to give them what they NEED in monetary support.

At the end of 2012, I saw first-hand the dedication to duty that our officers embrace...as they arrived in response to a 911 call from my home after I had a life-threatening accident. I will forever be indebted to them for being there when that call was made and so, I encourage my friends and neighbors to appreciate what we have – and please not let our officers down in their own time of need.

The Springfield Township Police Department hasn't asked for additional funds from citizens for YEARS...but the costs for their service continue to rise, just as our own costs have risen over time. We're kidding ourselves if we think they can get by with what they're given in the form of monetary support.

The Springfield Township Police Department is asking us to vote YES on Summit County Issue 1 when we cast our ballots in the May 7 Primary Election. It is my intention to answer that request and my wife will do the same, as we both have a clear understanding of the need and have benefited from the aforementioned diligence and professionalism which these officers embody in their daily duties.

We support Issue 1 and are asking every other Springfield Township resident to do the same – to be sure you get the proper response if you are forced to make that call one day. Cast your ballot and say YES.

With Deepest Respect and Kindest Regards,

Mark Richards
Afternoon News Anchor – WNIR Radio