Ben S⁠i⁠mmons

January 12, 2024

January 12, 2024

“I was talking to somebody recently, and they said in the 1980s we had 1,200 officers in Tucson, Arizona. Now we have about 800… And the population has doubled in size.

800 officers for a county with over a million people?

800 officers is just not enough.

When my stuff got stolen, I was told there were six officers on duty. Six officers were not enough for that area that we were in.

I work for myself as a handyman here in Tucson. In October, I went to a client’s house to do some repairs. I realized I needed a part for the repair, so I went to Home Depot.

When I got back to the client’s house, I opened my truck to retrieve a tool, and found that most of my tools were gone. $4,300 worth of tools. I drove back to Home Depot and reported it to the police. They never showed up, so I went home.

Two and a half hours later I got a call from the police saying they were on their way to Home Depot. I obviously wasn’t there anymore. So they sent an officer to my house, and he took my statement.

About 50 days after the incident I hadn’t heard anything from the police. I went to the station and got a police report, which I needed for an insurance claim, but it was incomplete. There was close to $1,000 worth of tools missing from the amount listed in the report, but they wouldn’t correct it.

I had to send that to my insurance agency to make a claim, but I don’t know if they’re going to give me the amount that the police report says or if they’re going to give me the amount that I know is missing.

Either way, this really hurt my job because I do not have all the tools I need, and it’ll probably be two months before I even get my check. The crime that’s happening here in Tucson is ridiculous and can ruin small businesses like mine.

The police just don’t have the resources to do what they need to do, to fill out paperwork or show up and meet the needs of people.

If you aren’t bleeding or anything like that, if you aren’t about to die, they aren’t showing up.

It’s hard to have faith in a system this broken.

I’ve actually considered running for City Council, because I understand that these things don’t change unless people step up and make a change.

I can’t blame the police officers who are not getting the support they need. I can’t blame the people who are stealing to feed a habit and aren’t held accountable or given help. I can’t blame people for just trying to get by.

It’s those who can make a difference but don’t… and I hope I can.”

Ben Simmons
Tucson, Arizona

Ben is a small-business owner in the greater Tucson area. He is also a member of Our America’s Hometown Heroes Activist Network. Learn more about Our America’s free grassroots activism program here.