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To the editor:

The Law Enforcement Council of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees would like to publicly express our support for the Salt Lake City Police Association in its fight against Mayor Palmer DePaulis in this year's contract negotiations.It amazes us, as an organization, how administration throughout the state of Utah continues to make cuts in public safety. This strategy is especially alarming when even the national government has stated that there is an epidemic of crime existing in the country. They have indicated that more officers and more money are needed nationwide to make law enforcement strong again, and yet law enforcement has been cut so far for so long that it can no longer combat that epidemic.

The citizens of this country wonder why the bad guys are winning, and they never stop to think about the tremendous cutbacks that have been made in public safety over the past 10 years.

I believe Mayor DePaulis and the other administrators when they say these are lean times and cuts have to be made. It is also a fact, however, that over the last few years, public safety has been cut to a point that they now cannot safely and effectively combat the increase in crime. Perhaps in lean times administration should prioritize programs and cut those that will have less dramatic effect on the citizens directly. I'm sure that the people would rather feel safe and protected in their streets and homes than receive a new building or continue to see the waste in upper management.

Don Blackburn

AFSCME Law Enforcement Council