Victims Speak out in Support of Criminal Justice Tax
KENNEWICK, Wash.- It was an emotional plea to voters Wednesday from the families of victims of horrible crimes, asking for support passing Benton County's proposed criminal justice tax.
Two families gathered to tell their stories and reach out to voters.
It was a very emotional day for those victims' families, but they say it's something they had to do, and hope their impact means voters will check "Yes" when the tax appears on the ballot, and help stop other tragedies like the one's they've endured.
"Go through the courtrooms, see how packed they are, see what kind of staff it takes to operate them, and i'm hoping i never need their services again, but somebody in Benton County will," said Loren Moreno.
Moreno's wife and daughter were brutally murdered inside their home in 2005.
"You know, i just felt we had to do something and now two years later there's something we can all do as a community and, i'm really looking forward to seeing this vote pass," he said.
The same can be said for Tim Alongi, who's daughter was stabbed by her ex-boyfriend in March.
Prosecutors say the only reason she's still alive is because officers used deadly force to protect her from the man.
"My daughter would have been either severely injured or dead," Alongi said.
The tax would put another $800,000 in the budget for Kennewck Police alone, costing the average family about $24 dollars a year.
"It's going to put more police officers on the road, it's gonna put more cops on the road, and it's also going to fund the equipment that we need, that we haven't been able to budget for and we haven't been able to put on the road as well," said Kennewick Police Chief Ken Hohenberg.
The tax is an extra two-tenths of one percent added to the County sales tax, or $0.20 per $100.
"I'm going to vote for this tax and you may be the next one that may need the officers or the services that we may not be able to provide if this tax fails," said Moreno.
Along with Wednesday's emotional pleas, the West Richland City Council recently voted to support the tax increase that would put two more officers on staff for that Department.