Letters to the Editor

'Sound investment'

That was good news reporting by The Bee on the coverage of Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer's Operation Bulldog program confronting youth gangs. It's a good investment of taxes and the future of at-risk youth which will ultimately save tax dollars and turn many around to become employed, taxpaying citizens instead of committing further criminal activities and adding the resulting tax burden.

A reasonable conclusion is that many of these troublesome gang members are high-school dropouts. Nearly half the inmates in California prisons are dropouts, at an annual taxpayer cost upward of $35,000 per inmate.

Another reasonable conclusion is that many of these gang members are not only dropouts, but past inmates or headed in that direction.

Thus Chief Dyer's Operation Bulldog intervention program and remedial education alternatives are not only timely, but a fiscally sound investment in the future of our young men and women.

A greater focus on the dropout problem and tax burden, along with expanded remedial education programs, is strongly indicated. I hope our governor's Education Reform Task Force addresses this.

Joe Becvar