There is apparently a group, calling themselves People’s Budget Bako, demanding the city redistribute law enforcement funds to other areas to suit their desires (“City officials respond to website’s demand to divest Bakersfield Police Department,” June 20). It seems the group is dissatisfied with the percentage of tax initiative Measure N funds going toward bolstering our police department.
According to the article, the group has amassed more than 350 followers on social media. At the time Measure N was passed into law, the 350 followers of the group would have equated to less than one-tenth of 1 percent of the population of Bakersfield.
People’s Budget Bako does not seem to understand that Measure N was voted by Bakersfield residents for the purpose of expanding the police department. Specifically, the measure states it will increase police staffing to improve police response times, reduce crime and increase neighborhood police patrols. Nowhere in Measure N is there mention of decreasing our police force. You cannot improve public safety by diminishing the police department. If anyone directly involved in People’s Budget Bako wants to divest funds from the police department, I suggest reducing patrols in their neighborhoods first to see how it works.
Should our city kowtow to demands to redirect any Measure N funds to satisfy this group or any other group, Measure N should become null and void and the tax dollars returned to the tax payers.
I contacted my city councilmember to express my concern; you may want to do the same.
Ernie Bentley, Bakersfield