Creswell Public Safety Committee and Creswell City Council are beginning to look at the issue of safety in Creswell through a different lens.
Everyone has heard it, and many have complained: our city is underserved without 24-hour police coverage. It makes residents feel more vulnerable and less safe.
In the November 2016 election, however, Creswell voters – by nearly 62 percent – voted ”no” to a police services levy that would have enacted a property tax to bring more law enforcement officers to Creswell. The levy was proposed in an effort to reach 24-hour police coverage in the city, but council and the safety committee are realizing that it’s not just deputies that can make residents feel safe; in fact, there are endless facets to public safety.
Council wants to seek public input and find out, beyond police coverage, what makes people feel safe, and what makes them feel unsafe, in Creswell.
The questions posed are simple, though the answers are vast.
”What makes you feel safe in Creswell? What does not make you feel safe in Creswell?”
Feeling unsafe in town can come in a variety of forms, council discussed at this month’s work session.
It could mean that parents feel their kids are unsafe walking on uneven or nonexistent sidewalks. It could mean inadequate street lighting. It could mean a resident doesn’t feel safe because there is not a grocery store in town, and they can’t drive themselves to the neighboring towns to receive their food or medications. It could mean a crossing guard, or more traffic lights.
Council said they need to find out the answers to those two questions by gathering input from the community before any work can be done.
That can be done in a variety of ways, whether it be through online surveys, polling and the like.
This discussion is in its preliminary stages, and will be pursued further in the new year, Council President Richard Zettervall said.