A call to keep police substations open
       Editor's note: The Westside Pioneer reprints with permission the following letter to the city written under the Organization of Westside Neighbors (OWN) letterhead.
       Dear Mayor, Vice Mayor, and City Council:
       Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the issue regarding the entrance closures of the CSPD substations during the night shift. Due to previous media statements [the local daily paper] that City Council had eliminated this consideration, we did not believe our input was required. Since that time, we learned that the issue was being addressed. Based on neighborhood meeting discussions and resident feedback received, OWN respectfully requests that the CSPD substation entrances maintain their current 24/7 entrance staffing.
       Since 1997, Westsiders have become aware of the importance and been supportive of essential city services, especially public safety. The Westside, along with many other neighborhoods throughout Colorado Springs, supported the passage of the November 2001 Public Safety Sales Tax.
       CSPD substations provide a sense of safety for neighborhoods and an emergency refuge for citizens in time of need. The proposed evening entrance closure to CSPD substations sends an improper signal to the general public. Our neighborhood's Gold Hill Police Substation is an important safety net for residents.
       We ask you to reconsider maintaining public entrance hours to all CSPD substations 24 hours a day. While we understand the difficulties of balancing a budget in challenging economic times, a savings of less than 1 percent to the General Fund by reducing public access to CSPD substations by 33 percent is not a good trade. We respectfully request that at the Nov. 27 formal council meeting City Council fund the staffing of the CSPD substations so full 24/7 entrance staffing is maintained.
       On behalf of our neighborhood organization and residents of the Westside, we appreciate your consideration. Should you have any questions or require clarification, please contact us at your earliest convenience.
       By direction of the board.

Welling Clark,
President, Organization of Westside Neighbors