“Protect what you love. I’m motivated to protect our community because I love this place. This is my home. For my family and yours, I am committed to making Benton County an even better place to live for all of us”.

-Eric Eisinger, Benton County Prosecuting Attorney

“Clean Sweep Tri Cities works directly with all the therapeutic courts in Benton County; and it’s saving lives everyday – just like it saved ours. Vote to approve proposition 1”.

-Mark & Tiffany McKee, Founders of Clean Sweep Tri-Cities

“I’m typically a no tax guy period… but I will vote to approve Proposition 1 because it is not a new tax, and it is for my community”

-Bill Dress, Co-Owner of Ranch and Home

“I approve of Proposition #1 because it supports the therapeutic courts and saves lives and the taxpayer jail costs year after year!”

-Kevin Kennedy, Mental Health Advocate

“The Kennewick Police Cadet Program, which is funded by the Public Safety Sales Tax, made it possible for me and other local young adults to pursue a career in law enforcement in our community.”

-Sebastian Castilleja, Kennewick Police Officer

“The Benton County Safety Tax provides the needed funding for our Engagement Specialist located at the Juvenile Justice Center.  This individual not only assesses youth for red flags associated with sex trafficking, but also develops relationships with youth that allows for sharing of past trafficking experiences.  Most importantly, the Engagement Specialist provides advocacy services to support youth in their journey to a more healthy, safe and happy future.”

Jodee Garretson, Executor Director, Support, Advocacy & Resource Center, SARC

“This is my community.  As a parent, civic advocate, and employer I know that quality of life is rooted in public safety.  There is no greater investment to be made than an investment in a compassionate justice system.”

– Brian Ace, Executive Director/CEO, Boys & Girls Clubs of Benton and Franklin Counties

“Due to the increased violence not only in our community but throughout the state and our nation the Public Safety Sales Tax is more imperative today!  Let’s not make the mistake of defunding our police like other metropolitan communities have done—vote yes for Proposition 1.”

-Ken Hohenberg, Kennewick Police Chief, Retired

“I have loved being a supporter of the Tri-Cities for 44 years. 

What better way for our community to support each other than to approve the renewal of the Public Safety Sales Tax to maintain the 122 men and women in critical public safety roles. These include 55 law enforcement personnel who will continue to ensure the safety and security of the greatest place to live, work and play in the state of Washington. 

Please approve Proposition #1.”

-Dave Retter, Owner of Retter & Company

“Nine years ago Benton County voters passed the Public Safety Sales Tax to give law enforcement the tools to hold criminal offenders accountable and give justice to victims of crime. This is not the time to take that tool away. 

The Public Safety Tax also funds our Drug Courts which not only turns people’s lives around, but also saves money in the long run by reducing crime. These are just two of the reasons we need to vote to Approve Proposition One which keeps our Public Safety Tax.”

-Andy Miller, Benton County Prosecutor, Retired

“Democrats and Republicans Agree!

Both Benton County Democrats and the Benton County Republicans agree to endorse Approval of Proposition #1. You should too, its for the safety of our community.”

-Eric Van Winkle- Campaign Chair – Citizens for a Safer Benton County

“I urge citizens of Benton County to vote YES on Proposition 1 to fund the Public Safety Tax.

The Public Safety tax pays for important programs that enhance the safety of our region including Therapeutic Courts, Safe Harbor and My Friend’s Place, Boys and Girls Club, Partners for Early Learning, and the Nurse and Family Partnerships. These programs have a proven record of improving the lives of our neighbors and community.

Please vote yes on Proposition 1 November 7th.”

-Dori Luzzo Gilmour

“I am originally from the Seattle area; I know firsthand what happens to a city when the community defunds the police. The city declines and becomes unlivable; you can’t even walk down the streets in broad daylight without smelling human waste and fear for your life, as well as your family’s life. That is why we are on a mission to highlight the good our first responders are doing for our community! Please Vote YES for Proposition 1.”

-Peter Chung, Toyota of Tri Cities

“Please join me in voting YES for proposition 1. It is vital that we continue the funding for critical crime prevention programs in our area so that we avoid falling victim to the kind of increased crime activity so many neighboring cities have experienced. I consider this a zero-risk investment.”

-Eric Pearson

“I have lived in Richland for over 50 years. I came to student teach, then I taught school here, married, and raised my children here and now, my husband and I are content to stay here in retirement. Richland has been a wonderful place to live and work. We need to support programs that will keep it a good place for everyone. Don’t defund the police. The PSST is a tiny tax that raises a lot of money for good things.”

-Pat Holten

“Knowing that this is NOT a new tax , I urge voters to ensure a healthy and safe community by approving Proposition 1. My husband Diehl was instrumental in creating Drug Court which has saved lives and and reunited many families. Let’s not let our community suffer lawlessness and ruin. Approval is essential in guaranteeing that these services continue to make such a positive difference in our community!!”

-Anne Rettig

“The biggest reason that my husband and I support the renewal and approval of Proposition #1 and the Public Safety Sales Tax is because of our daughter. This year alone her school has been on lockdown 3 times due to criminal activity in the area. We are also so grateful there is a School Resource Officer at her school to ensure her safety. If we had not voted and approved this tax 9 years ago, think how bad crime would be. And how worse it could be if we do not renew it.”

-Michelle Wilson

“As a current law enforcement professional, I understand the importance of having qualified men and women who swear an oath to protect the communities we serve. To support the Public Safety Sales Tax means supporting these brave men and women who risk their lives everyday to serve our citizens. Join me in supporting public safety by voting yes for Proposition 1.”

-Marco Monteblanco, President, Washington State Fraternal Order of Police and Kennewick Police Detective

“I have the privilege of working with at-risk and homeless teens every day. The funding our agency receives from the Public Safety Sales Tax is vital to keeping these teens off the street and out of dangerous situations that force them to resort to illegal and gang-related activities for survival. This intervention gives them a chance to choose a new path – one of success. Our clients are proof that investing in comprehensive, trauma-informed programs like ours fortifies our community. Vote yes for Proposition 1 and help us continue to keep our doors open to the most vulnerable youth in the Tri-Cities.”

-Sara Harpster, Executive Director, Safe Harbor Support Center & My Friends Place

“Yes! We’re voting for Proposition #1 that approves the Public Safety Sales Tax.  For more information visit the Citizens for a Safer Benton County website at approveprop1.com

-Clark and Kris Watkins

“Let’s get Proposition 1 approved! The Public safety sales tax is a very small price for a safe community for our grandkids. (I appreciate the good work the tax has funded for the last ten years and glad that there is NOT a sunset clause this time so the good work can continue on an ongoing basis.)”

-Ken Miller

“As the President of the Fraternal Order of Police Tri Cities Lodge #7 and on behalf of everyone of 597 active members from the local area consisting of city, county, State and federal law enforcement officers – we fully endorse Proposition #1.

Law Enforcement in Benton County has helped keep you safe as a result of the Public Safety Sales Tax. We have had the additional financial support from our citizens to keep this community safer, for not only our children and seniors, but every person who lives, works and shops here by providing additional law enforcement personnel, training and equipment.

The original Public Safety Sales Tax provision that passed nearly 10 years ago has allowed your local law enforcement officers to provide your community an increase in public safety and enforcement keeping families safe and secure.

There have been additional community programs developed with some of the funding to provide much needed assistance for those individuals that police officers may encounter everyday who may need additional assistance.

Please join your local law enforcement officers in supporting Proposition #1. It will continue to keep our community safe.”

-Justin Gerry, President, Tri Cities Lodge #7, Fraternal Order of Police

“When my ballot for the Nov. 7 election arrives, it will be my highest priority to vote to approve renewing the Public Safety Sales Tax. This highly positive tax of 0.3% was first approved by the voters in 2014 and came to be incredibly beneficial to the citizens of Benton County. It has strengthened local law enforcement entities by improving officer retention, reducing backlog, increasing staffing levels and funding gang prevention programs. It has also supported therapeutic courts such as Drug Court, Mental Health Court and Veteran’s Court, the latter of which I attend as often as possible. It has been a lesson for me to see how much good this program does by giving these fine patriots who committed to serving our country but who sometimes find returning to civilian life challenging. When eligible, they are given a chance to straighten their path. It is strict, and it is not easy. But I have watched them turn their lives around and be thankful for the opportunity.”

-Sue Frost

“The Veterans Therapeutic Treatment Court Program

I believe in the Benton County Public Safety Tax because I have seen a portion of it in action. In my world as Mentor Coordinator for the Benton County Veterans Therapeutic Court, I see its benefit because of four points:

1- A county and court team that believe in the potential of positive results,
2- A leadership team at the Columbia Basin Veteran Center that is committed to veterans and a belief that no veteran should stand alone.
3- 26 veterans that have committed to training and personal time to mentor alongside the veteran who is crosswise with the law,
4- and a community that believes that a safety tax well spent is an admirable cause.

Benton County stood up the Veterans Therapeutic Treatment Court 6/11/2019. The cost to house someone in jail for a year is $85 dollars a day or $31,000. Veterans Treatment Court saves the county about $6,200 annually. To date we have 56 graduates which translates to overall savings of $347,200.

The recidivism rate for the state of Washington is 32% and for the VTC graduates is 4%. A 1/3 of 1% SALES TAX THAT IS MAKING BENTON COUNTY SAFER!”

-Steve Lehto

“Approving Proposition #1 is not a new tax. It is a continuation of the existing tax that is essential to maintaining the high level of Law Enforcement, Criminal Prosecution, Gang Prevention and other community support services all vital to the safety of the citizens of Benton County and our Community.   To do otherwise will be to neglect our responsibilities to fund those who keep the community and it’s Citizens safe.  Other cities- Seattle, Portland, etc. have gone thru the defunding process and we have all seen the disastrous results!  3 tenths of 1% (30 cents on a $100.00 purchase)  is a small price to pay for the high degree of safety and protection we ALL enjoy today.  And the sales tax is not just paid for by the citizens of Benton County.  All visitors from surrounding cities and states are also paying and contributing to the tax thru their purchases here.

Please approve Proposition #1 for continuation of your families’ safety and wellbeing.”

-Bill Lampson, Lampson International

“I endorse Proposition 1, the renewal of the Public Safety Sales Tax (PSST).  I am only allowed to provide facts about the initiative or proposition.

The facts as they relate to the PSST;

The Benton County Sheriff’s Office receives nearly 5 million annually.  This money pays for 24 commissioned deputies and detectives as well as support staff.

2 school resource officers
3 detectives
4 agency task for detectives
As well as other Deputies that work patrol.
Support staff employees

The funds also provide training, equipment and supplies.

If we lose the funds; we would potentially lose 24 deputies.  Which means patrol squads would be reduced.  Patrol squads are our first responders and without them there would be very limited resources to respond to in progress crimes, vehicle accidents and other serious incidents.  We would also lose several detectives and would limit our ability to investigate serious crimes.

Not having the funds would be a massive impact to the Benton County Sheriff’s Office and all law enforcement in the region would be severely impacted.

Please let me know if you have any further questions.”

-Tom Croskrey

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