Fight Crime: Invest in Kids Member Urges Quality Child Care in Arizona
The Marana Chief of Police tells lawmakers "crime prevention starts early."
By Chief Terry Rozema of the Marana Police Department
This past spring, I joined Fight Crime: Invest in Kids staffers along with members of our sibling organizations of Mission:Readiness and ReadyNation to personally tell lawmakers in Phoenix how crime prevention starts early. And I can tell you - our message resonated with them. After months of advocacy on behalf of many of you and our allies, the Arizona state legislature passed the Child Care Payments for Higher Quality Care bill. The bill requires some of the federal funding for child care be reserved for only high-quality centers. High-quality is extremely important since research shows that crime prevention benefits stem from high-quality programs. This change will incentivize centers to improve their quality and subsequently increase access to high quality centers for families across Arizona.
This would not have been possible without the efforts of Arizona’s over 50 Fight Crime: Invest in Kids members. And, while there remains much more work to do to promote public safety by investing in kids, it is important to note that this bill passed with bipartisan support. We feel strongly that the steady voices of law enforcement leaders have had a consistent, positive effect in promoting this bipartisan spirit and winning broad backing for programs proven to reduce crime in our communities.
This was a joint effort that brought together Fight Crime members as well as prominent military and business leaders from our sibling organizations, respectively, Mission:Readiness and ReadyNation.
Together, they supported this crime prevention initiative in many ways. During the legislative session, they:
- Signed onto a letter, which 16 Fight Crime members added their name to, that was sent to many policymakers in Phoenix,
- Contacted members of the Senate Committee when the bill was about to be voted on,
- Planned a day of meetings to speak with many State Senators about the importance of this bill for Arizona’s future, and
- Submitted opinion pieces and letters to the editor, one of which ran in the Arizona Republic.
If you have the opportunity, please take the time to thank your legislators for their role in promoting research-based crime-prevention initiatives. By making our voices heard in Phoenix, we are proud to have helped to ensure a brighter, safer future for Arizona.