Listen up!

Some of those who attend tonight’s first public session of the Grand Junction City Council’s listening tour will likely urge the council to keep the purse strings tight and taxes low, no matter what they do regarding police and fire buildings.

That’s fine. Fiscal responsibility is important. But city residents should also know about the dangers of leaving things as they are.

There is a danger to those who witness or are victims of crime. Because there’s only one public entrance, they may very well encounter criminal suspects when they visit the police department.

There is a danger to police officers. In one instance, undercover officers were spotted by suspects who had to go through the same areas of the police building where the officers were working.

And there is a danger to justice. Evidence storage is frought with problems, ranging from contamination to chain-of-custody issues.

The public safety problems aren’t just about cramped quarters and overused electric outlets, although those exist. They go to the heart of the police department’s ability to protect us.

We urge residents to offer their ideas at one of these meetings:

Tonight, 7 p.m., Canyon View Vineyard Church; May 14, 3 p.m. St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church; May 20, 7 p.m., Lincoln Park Barn; May 24, 7 p.m. Mesa County Fairgrounds Community Building; June 3, 3 p.m. Redlands Community Center.


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