“My husband and I got a call from a family member out of town that they couldn’t get in touch with my brother-in-law, so we called the Tucson Police Department to do a wellness check. Hours went by and they never came, so my husband and son went over to drill through the lock and check on him themselves. He was sitting in a chair, dead.
They called 911, and that’s when they finally came. 11 hours after the original call.
I know the police are very short-handed in Tucson and we need more of them. We need a mayor and city council members who will do the right things to support our police to work on homelessness and drug use. It’s heartbreaking that it’s allowed to continue when you see that someone is having that issue and the lack of police brings everything to a head. It’s not humane to let someone die on the street.
Having more police creates an environment where we will follow the law and create laws to have a civil society, we have to follow the laws and enhance the current laws that we already have. But if you have a mayor and council that don’t care about those things and don’t enhance the environment, everything just starts falling apart and starts to crumble. People are fearful and unable to live their lives freely.
The mayor and council need to spend the money that is taken in to take care of us. Their first obligation is safety. That’s why it’s important to speak out.
I know law enforcement recruiting numbers are down, and I’m concerned. I think it goes with low support for police with people saying they want to defund the police. People aren’t as interested in going into law enforcement, but that goes back to the mayor and city council. They need to support the police and create the right environment for them to do their job.
In our situation, it turned out that, even if the police had responded right away, it would have been too late. But that’s not always the case. When you call for a welfare check, somebody could be going through a medical emergency. And there are so many other scenarios when response time is critical and that’s scary. A welfare check can – and does – save someone’s life.
The citizens of Tucson need to stand up for the services of police, fire and medical that our taxpayers pay for. They need to be funded. That creates a better living environment for everybody involved.”
Renee is a resident of Tucson who will be sharing her story with the city council on October 17, 2023.