Arizona is experiencing unprecedented budget issues, and the Arizona Highway Patrol Association (AHPA) is supportive of measures that would encourage revenue to assist public safety. In light of recent police tragedies and department cuts, the AHPA is supportive of Governor Brewer’s proposal for a temporary sales tax to continue funding support to the Department of Public Safety (DPS).

“We already have been creative in dealing with the recent mandatory budget cuts, but DPS is running on fumes and we need a revenue source – fast,” states Sgt. Jimmy Chavez, President of the AHPA. “Without the new revenue, DPS will have to be drastically cut which will result in layoffs and significant reduction in services that will jeopardize the safety of the citizens of Arizona.”

Governor Brewer appointed Robert Halliday as the new director of DPS earlier this month, hence providing a fresh perspective to the department. “New insight and dialogue for ways to provide better services is a win for Arizona citizens,” adds Chavez, “but without a revenue source, it will make it harder for citizens to see the immediate or lasting effects of an efficient department. We would be taking steps backwards.”

The AHPA is asking all legislators to support the temporary 1% tax to assist in funding police services throughout the State of Arizona. It must be passed for a May special election by February 16th so that the citizens can decide on the initiative. “Our employees have suffered enough,” states Chavez. “A temporary sales tax increase will ensure no layoffs or further public safety cuts. AHPA does not want to see DPS services impacted or encourage disasters.”

Article written by/or information provided by AHPA

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