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The Mayorals on public safety

Reading this story about the Mayoral candidates and their public safety plans, I have the same questions that I’ve had from the beginning. How do they plan to pay for the things they want to do? Hiring more officers, obviously, isn’t cheap. Neither is buying new technology, to do things like communicate better among themselves and with other agencies. Does this require other agencies to spend more on communications equipment as well, and if so how do you ensure they do so? Similarly, if you want HPD to coordinate better with other law enforcement agencies, how do you ensure that those agencies play along? If your ideas require state or federal funding, how do you make that happen? To a large degree, there’s an element of faith here, that one candidate will do a better job of these things than another. Where do you place your faith? That’s the big question.

Just as a reminder, Annise Parker’s plan for public safety is here, Peter Brown’s is here, and Gene Locke’s is here. While I agree with the assessment that there’s a lot of overlap among them, I also think that there are some pretty sharp differences in what they each would emphasize, and I think that’s at least as important as what bullet points they do or don’t have.

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