Offering them an opportunity to better themselves through education, counseling and employment not only would help these youths toward long-term success, but it also would serve as a preventative measure to help ensure they do not end up incarcerated or commit crimes later in life.

At a recent neighborhood meeting, one of us (former Chief of Police Tom Schwedhelm) stated that the Mary and Jose Tamayo Village wasn't even "on the radar" of the Santa Rosa Police Department. Nonetheless, SAY is not taking this track record of success for granted and is working to implement additional safeguards to both Tamayo Village and the Dream Center proposal to expand the protection of all those living in the vicinity of either facility.

As police and probation officers, retired judges, deputy district attorneys, and current and former elected officials, we work collectively to keep our community safe, and we urge you to unite with us in support of SAY's Dream Center proposal.

<i>Tom Schwedhelm recently retired as Santa Rosa's police chief. Jim Pedgrift is a former Santa Rosa mayor. This piece also was signed by Robert Ochs, Sonoma County's chief probation officer; Gayle Guynup, a retired Sonoma County judge and honorary board member of SAY; Arnie Rosenfield, a retired Sonoma County judge; Sonoma County Supervisors Susan Gorin and Shirlee Zane; former Supervisor Tim Smith; former Santa Rosa Mayor Jane Bender; former Santa Rosa City Council members Veronica Jacobi and Marsha Vas Dupre and Sonoma County Deputy District Attorney Chris Honigsberg.</i>