For Colorado Springs to thrive, we must prioritize the safety of every neighborhood.
Although I grew up in a family of meagre means, I lived in a time when kids roamed the neighborhood looking for the next game of tag, hide and seek, red light/green light, and my favorite: capture the flag. After school, on weekends, and in the summer, we could find our friends outside and seek out that day’s adventures.
Today, we are challenged to establish neighborhoods in which families, children, and elderly people are safe to live, work, and play. In many areas, we lack a sense of belonging and community with the result being more isolation and an increase in crime.
As neighbors, we need to come together in each of our neighborhoods and partner with our civic servants to address issues that are unique to every community. I will work to create opportunities for this collaboration.
Safe neighborhoods are crucial to the future of Colorado Springs.
While I do know a stronger police department is an important aspect of ensuring public safety, especially as it relates to violent crimes, the answer to safer neighborhoods is not simply found in more police officers. I will, certainly, work to build the Colorado Springs Police Department to a capacity of other cities of our same size. In part, this means we need to shift the culture to attract new recruits from the community they serve, evaluate competitive compensation packages, and provide the best law enforcement training for new recruits and veterans on the force.
The answer to “safe neighborhoods,” though, reaches beyond building a more effective and efficient police department.
I will work to foster other solutions to mitigate crime that don’t rely on law enforcement.
As a City council member, I will work to help neighborhoods be safer in several ways:
- Fostering more trust between law enforcement officers and the communities they serve
- Encouraging citizen involvement in public safety efforts
- Implementing crime prevention programs, such as neighborhood watch groups
- Improving street lighting and maintaining public spaces
- Investing in community-based education and job training programs
- Addressing underlying social and economic issues that contribute to crime
- Developing and enforcing local laws and regulations aimed at promoting safety
By taking these steps, city council can work to create a safer and more secure environment for residents and visitors. Safe neighborhoods have reduced crime, increased property values, and they foster a sense of community and belonging. Ultimately, safe neighborhoods promote well-being, enhance physical and mental health, and maintain a higher quality of life for residents.
Let’s work together to create neighborhoods like this throughout Colorado Springs.
David will work to keep our neighborhoods safe.
“If you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day. If you teach a man to fish, you feed him for a lifetime.”
Homelessness in our community is a complex and serious issue. As a small business owner and resident, I have worked with various community offices and resources to find solutions to an issue that is both a public health and public safety issue. Some days I feel we are closer to effective solutions, and then there are other days where I witness a horrific act of violence in the parking lot of my business. Clearly, we have more work to do to find meaningful solutions.
First, we must start by dignifying and humanizing the people who are affected by it. They are people – men and women, brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers, sons and daughters – who have been affected by tremendous tragedies. In some instances, the circumstances are of their own making. Oftentimes, though, they are the victims of isolation, drug addiction, and mental health issues which have then caused their lives to spiral further out of control.
Giving direct cash, food, and other goods only enables the homeless to live in deplorable, inhumane conditions. While these gestures may be well-intentioned, they provide short-term comfort rather than a long-term solution to change the lives of our homeless population. The actions we take come from a place of compassion with a vision toward changing lives.
It will be important to gain an understanding of who comprises our homeless population. Individuals who may be long-term, chronically homeless require a different solution-set compared to those who may have become homeless due to a sudden change in circumstance.
Our efforts in working with homeless individuals should be aimed at helping them create a life “off of the streets.”
To that end, I will work toward solutions that
- Offer safe and secure shelters that provide food, water, and sleep
- Foster and create opportunities to restore hope, self-respect, self-esteem, and dignity by providing job training, paths to re-enter the workforce, and ways to transition into affordable housing
- Address drug and alcohol dependencies that are barriers to such a transition
- Address mental health issues that are barriers to such a transition
- Develop partnerships with religious, civic, and private organizations to assist in the transition from “homeless person” to “community member”
One of the reasons I love Colorado Springs is the generous heart so many in our community have. Most of us truly want to solve these issues out of compassion. I completely understand and embrace that direction. But love must be tough sometimes, and we need to enforce existing laws that are designed to protect our neighborhoods. Ultimately, we need our seniors to feel safe, and we need neighborhoods where kids can explore, engage, and have fun in a simple game of tag.