To the Editor:
I have some thoughts to share on the referendum concerning part time firefighters. As some of you may know, I served for 25 years on the Troy Police Department, served as 4th Ward councilman for two terms, and worked many times with our firefighters over the years. The principal purpose of both services is protecting the lives and property of those who live in our city. Members of both services provide those services, and sometimes the service is intense.
Individuals may have differing reasons for wanting to join the ranks of public service in the Fire or Police divisions. For some it is a true calling to help and serve the men, women, and children in our city. For some it is to be a part of an honorable profession, and for some it is just to collect a paycheck. Things cannot always be ideal.
The ideal is for our firefighters and police to be natives of our city with roots, homes, and children in this city, and having those, a commitment to this city that just being an employee cannot give. If you are a part of the feelings, heart, and soul of this community, then you are in a position to give a truly committed and heartfelt service to our community. To be a member of either division requires full time dedication to the job and full time commitment to the citizens, with immediate availability to respond to duty. If we cannot attain the ideal, let us give serious effort to trying.
Promotions within the services come from the full time dedicated members, not from part time workers. Those members who are there day after day, hour after, hour, week after week, and even year after year are those whom we need to have as our public servants. Resist the ploy by some in city government to save a buck by using part timers, and please vote to continue to have only full time firefighters as employees of this city.
— Ray Bretland