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Valley Voters Sent Clear Message

May 02, 1993

Your editorial "Dissecting the Valley Vote" (April 25) unfairly criticizes our neighbors by suggesting that the Valley played "perhaps the biggest role" in defeating the citywide measure to add 1,000 police officers and going on: "The message here is clear: The Valley wants more police officers, if it doesn't have to pay for them."

Your graphic presentation in the same section clearly illustrates the problem. While the ratio of police officers to residents in the city of Los Angeles is 2.2 per 1,000, the Valley ratio is but 1.1 per 1,000.

Since only about one-third of the city's population lives in the Valley, the resulting calculation is that the rest of Los Angeles actually has a ratio of about 2.8 officers per 1,000 residents--2 1/2 times that of the Valley.

If the Valley portion of the city were to be assigned its share of the total police force based on the city average of 2.2 officers per 1,000 residents, we would then have approximately 2,640 officers assigned to the Valley, and your comparison to the 2,874 officers in the entire city of Dallas, similar in population size to the Valley, would then have merit.

The real message here is that Valley residents just want the police officers they already pay for and appear to be unwilling to pay more taxes for city services they are unlikely to receive.

JAMES W. P. GOODNIGHT

Chatsworth

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