When serving as a member of the Board Selectmen in the community of Shirley, I traveled to Washington, D.C., to speak with our representative in Congress, Niki Tsongas. My purpose was to request a fast cop's grant for our town and was based on several needs.

First, it was a fact that the economic downturn resulted in the loss of four police officers in Shirley, a number that as a retired police chief I felt was unacceptable. My argument to secure the fast cops grant over the cities of Lowell or Lawrence was based on need and need alone. Shirley was home to not one, not two, but three of the largest prisons in our commonwealth. In fact one of the institutions is now the only maximum security prison in the state. I was assured that through her staff we would receive her full attention and support in the matter of public safety. Today we still have an understaffed department in spite of the fact the Shirley correctional system has become overcrowded and recently has experienced several incidents that have required emergency responses.

As a longtime Democrat, I am urging voters to support Jon Golnik, who I believe will be a representative who will support his entire district not based on population, but on need. Each community in the district, whether it be small or large, has its own unique problems. Those problems require the attention of your congressman and I see Jon as that person.