I was dismayed to open my newspaper and read your article about Medford Police Department's new military style vehicle. I appreciate the hard work and dedication of our police officers, but I am concerned.
I have three questions. In a town that cannot seem to find money to maintain and upgrade its schools, pools and police and fire department buildings without asking for bond measures, why are we spending this amount of money on a vehicle? How much equipment or building space could have been purchased or maintained for the police department with this money?
Secondly, in an area where hunting and shooting are popular activities, I do not personally know anyone with armor-piercing, .50-caliber bullets. The sight of this vehicle in the Middle East would not be surprising, but Medford? Does the police department have knowledge of a threat to our town of this caliber? If so, this information should be shared with the public so that we may all prepare.
Lastly, were my child and more than 500 other people held in a lockdown last week so that Medford police could play with their newly unwrapped toy? — Lena Anderson, Medford
One cannot imagine the relief I felt to pick up the Dec. 7 paper and see that Medford is now protected by a Humvee on steroids. With a revolving gun turret and gun portals, no less! All this and more for a mere $260,000!
Luckily it can run on flat tires, because those replacements at $6,700 each could run into some serious money. So, I say to those of you who might be thinking along the line of using your .50-caliber, full-metal-jacket weapons against the MPD, just take it somewhere else. Crime as we know it is done for in these here parts! — Shelia Whitesitt, Medford
Though it almost seems a bit much for a medium town like Medford, I applaud the fact that our police department saved up for their new tactical addition by setting aside funds from previous budgets. Others may argue that Medford is not a city in need of such a vehicle but, with a growing population containing varying personalities, one full-blown SWAT vehicle seems appropriate.
A single one of these isn't meant for an all-out suburban war, but this vehicle alone will prove helpful in those rare but inevitable situations that law enforcement encounters. — J. Wimmer, Medford
I read with interest and agreement the tribute to Carlos DeBritto. However, one of his major contributions to the community was omitted.
Carlos and I were members of the 1993 Master Gardener Class. He was very actively involved in numerous parts of the volunteer program: vice president, chairman of the Spring Fair and representative to the State Master Gardener Organization. In addition, he made significant contributions at the shovel and wheelbarrow level. Carlos, it was a pleasure working with you. — Ellen Scannell, Medford