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Police Cost Money

August 14, 1993

* After the disgraceful shootout on a bright sunny morning, we hear cries for more "police visibility" in the area ('Beach-Goers Flee Gangster Shootout,' Aug. 6).

We hear city authorities agonize over damage done to the city's image and its substantial tourist trade. We Venturans wonder what the hell is happening to our once serene city by the sea.

What's happening is, we are asking a pathetically undermanned Police Department to cope with violent criminal behavior not only from our home-grown bad guys, but from the hoodlums, robbers, burglars, rapists, pushers and murderers from Santa Paula, Oxnard and that seething caldron of violence one hour's drive to the south, Los Angeles.

It is incredible that with a Police Department of fewer than 125 officers, the Ventura City Council not six weeks ago cut the Police Department's budget--thereby reducing police visibility in the city as well as protection of its citizens.

But maybe it would be better not to publish this information. After all, the criminals of Southern California might find out just how thin our thin blue line has become in Ventura.

That is, if they don't know already.

DENIS HIGGINS

Ventura

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