Good news, for a change!
months of bad news regarding our safety situation, the
closing of three fire stations and the layoff of 23
firefighters due to budgetary cuts, the good news came from
our Washington and State Delegation, that Lawrence will
receive $6,622,000 in a federal grant from the Department of
Homeland Security to hire back not only those firefighters,
but to bring an extra 15 new hires.
This grant is a consequence of a visit that Senator John
Kerry paid to Lawrence last September, when he met with
Mayor William Lantigua, to find out directly from the Mayor
how bad the situation was. After the meeting, Kerry said
that one way to solve the safety crisis was to secure
federal grants and stimulus money adding at that time that
there wasn’t much money in Washington, anymore.
According to the information received from Senators John
Kerry, Scott Brown and Congresswoman Niki Tsongas, Lawrence
will receive this grant over two years.
While we are thrilled with the good news, we must recommend
that city officials be very careful when reading the small
print, if there is any, especially with the 15 new hires.
What will happen with them after two years once the money
has dried out? Are we going to be forced to keep them
Previous experienced with the Police Department taught us
that, particularly with Community Policing. The Federal
government came to our rescue once again; let’s be very
cautious by thinking ahead.