On Wednesday, January 18, Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce President Eric Spoonmore addressed the Bloomington Common Council to express deep concern about numerous violent crimes that have occurred in the community over the past several weeks and months including rape, stabbings, shootings, attempted murders, and murders among other egregious acts.
The Chamber fully supports the law enforcement agencies that make many sacrifices each day to protect and serve our city, working tirelessly around the clock to keep residents and businesses safe. The Chamber also recognizes that the Bloomington Police Department (BPD) is experiencing a significant shortage of police officers, which only exacerbates current public safety challenges for both BPD and the community.
Given the rash of troubling incidents, the Chamber encourages elected leaders to act with the highest level of urgency to address the current police officer shortage and ensure that our highly skilled police department has all the personnel and resources needed to meet its critical mission to the community.
“Safety always comes first, and the optimum levels of public safety can only be achieved for our community when we have a fully staffed police department,” said Spoonmore. “We have excellent police officers, but we need about 25 more of them. It’s our highly skilled team of officers that so often make the difference.”
Spoonmore also noted that elevating police staffing to the necessary levels should be the community’s top public safety priority. “City leaders have demonstrated they can ambitiously pursue innovative initiatives city-wide, including the new gigabit fiber infrastructure project and dramatic decreases to carbon emissions. I am confident that we can also aggressively solve the police shortage with that same spirit of innovation and ambition,” Spoonmore said.
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