Police, fire chiefs urge levy support

City of Delaware residents are being asked to support an income tax increase to pay for road and transportation improvements. In our positions leading Delaware’s Fire and Police Departments, we present the following information related to our ability to serve and protect, so you can be better informed as you make your decision.

• Emergency response times are essential to reducing loss of life and property, and defusing dangerous situations.

• Shaving even seconds off the time it takes us to respond can result in vastly different outcomes, be it for a priority-one domestic-violence assault call, a house fire or for a patient whose heart has stopped beating.

• Streets that are not networked have a negative impact on emergency response times. The extension of Valleyside Drive, from Central Avenue to William Street, will reduce response time to many of our western subdivisions by about 2 ½ minutes. Likewise, extending Merrick Boulevard will help relieve traffic congestion along Central Avenue, especially near Grady Memorial Hospital.

• When crashes occur in Delaware, congestion is a primary factor. At the “Point,” for example, traffic volume exceeds capacity and contributes to a high crash rate.

• Better connectivity leads to shorter trips, which reduces the likelihood of a crash. It also creates more reasonable opportunities for alternate transportation such as biking and walking.

It is our shared belief that the levy-funded transportation plan will reduce response times, decrease crash rates and improve overall safety citywide.

— John Donahue, City of Delaware Fire Chief

Bruce Pijanowski, City of Delaware Police Chief