Letter: Appreciate police chief's help
Published 11:31 am, Friday, September 21, 2012
Saugatuck residents met with police at police headquarters to present a petition with ideas on safety. With 140 signatures, the petition aimed to promote safety and encourage walking and bike riding along the path to Saugatuck Shores while decreasing pollution and speeders.
Saugatuck has changed over the past decade. Most homes have massive construction and a "neighbor" atmosphere has diminished. With one main road -- Harbor Road -- it's hard to bring a cup of sugar to a friend without getting run over. We search for drivers who obey the law and find few. We hoped what was being proposed would be heard and acted upon.
While walking through the police department, we shuttered to think what resistance might come from our new police chief. With the change in leadership, would this be the right time for change?
Within moments, Chief Dale Call greeted us with a smile and pulled us into a round table. We felt like the offensive team that was about to get trampled by the big defense. Much to our amazement, the chief cheered us on. His team of officers not only offered advice, they gave us a halftime show that left us wanting to buy season tickets.
Chief Call realized it had been more than a decade since a car-counting device had been placed on Harbor Road. From our deck, we counted 2,000 cars for the town's July 3rd fireworks. The chief supported ideas such as bump outs and temporary potted-plant holders. We weighed every strategy, and by the time the meeting concluded, we had a clear level of support to make safety an integral part of our community.
"Drive Like Your Kids Live Here" signs are being installed. Patrol cycles using radar are pulling over speeders. The Message: Police have zero tolerance for speeders. The limit is 25 miles per hour.
The goals have begun to be met. This could not have been done without Chief Call's constant due diligence. We wish to thank him for his time, patience and tenacity.