Op-Ed: Measure S is necessary to keep Downey safe

On November 8, voters in Downey will decide on Measure S, which would provide stable, local funding for vital city services. 

As members of the Downey Police Management Association (DPMA) and Downey Fire Management Association (DFMA), we believe Measure S is essential to protecting Downey residents and providing our members with the necessary safety equipment to better serve the community. 

With over 90 percent of residents rating Downey as having a better quality of life than other neighboring cities, it’s evident that Downey is a great place to live, do business, raise a family and retire. But since 2003, the State has cut more than $50 million in city funds. This has led to cutbacks in local services, and the City was forced to cut 10% of staff, including police and fire personnel. 

The crime rates in California and Los Angeles County have increased dramatically, and we now have nearly 7,000 additional probationers/parolees living in our region due to recently enacted State legislation. Measure S will help keep Downey safe by deploying additional police officers to patrol Downey streets, and supporting crime, gang and drug prevention programs.  

As one of the few cities in our region with its own local police and fire departments, Downey needs Measure S to maintain local control of these vital services and prevent our first responders from being diverted to other cities.  

Over 82% of calls to the Downey Fire Department are for medical emergencies. Measure S will improve 9-1-1 emergency response services by maintaining the number of fire trucks and ensuring emergency vehicles are outfitted with state of the art lifesaving equipment. 

Measure S includes strict fiscal accountability provisions to ensure funds are used wisely. By law, all funds stay in Downey and cannot be taken by Sacramento. Independent citizens’ oversight, mandatory annual financial audits and public reports ensure funds are spent properly. Measure S also expires in 20 years and cannot be renewed without voter approval. 

For these reasons, we strongly urge the Downey community to vote Yes on Measure S. Your children, families and seniors deserve to continue living in a safe and secure Downey. 

Sincerely, 
Downey Police Management Association
Downey Fire Management Association