Our first responsibility should be the safety of our citizens. Here are a few examples of steps we can take to make sure we meet this obligation:
1. Invest in our Prairie Village law enforcement officers. We should ensure that we have a well staffed, trained, equipped, and well compensated police force. Recently, a study was conducted that showed that our compensation rates for law enforcement officers in Prairie Village place us at a competitive disadvantage in relation to similar cities when it comes to attracting and retaining the highest quality law enforcement officers. I applaud the recent steps taken by the council to make our compensation packages more competitive, but I believe we should do more. I support the proposal recently suggested by Councilwoman Schermoly to ensure that high-performing PV law enforcement officers who have served at least 6 years in the PV police force would be paid no less than the midpoint of the salary range for comparable law enforcement positions in other cities.
2. Work to take back local control of local public safety issues. Over the last few years, partisan mandates from Topeka have increasing replaced the judgment of local communities on public safety issues. This included removing the ability of local communities to make their own determinations about regulating the carrying of concealed weapons in public buildings and public spaces, such as the parks in which our children play. As a responsible and trained gun owner, I know that there are some public places in our community where guns don't belong. The best people to make those determinations are the people who live in the community and their locally elected representatives in city government. We must work with our legislators in Topeka to advocate for the return of local control. I'm proud to be endorsed by our state representative, Jerry Stogsdill, who supports returning local control on this issue. I will work closely with Representative Stogsdill, as well as our law enforcement community, to advocate for the return of local control for public safety regulations. As a father, I will fight tirelessly to make this issue a priority before a gun violence tragedy occurs here in Prairie Village.