Part 2 of 3
In a series of WHAV mayoral interviews in advance of Tuesday’s Haverhill preliminary election, candidate Guy E. Cooper defined his top three priorities for the city—education, public safety and helping businesses “get back up on their feet again” after closings related to the coronavirus.
The veteran Haverhill patrolman said school buildings are overcrowded and “falling apart.” He called it is a situation that will only get worse as the city continues to grow.
“We’re building a lot of new buildings coming in so we’re going to have a lot more population going up and, with that population going up, we got to get a handle on the schools,” Cooper told WHAV listeners Friday morning.
Asked about his perspective on public safety issues as a Haverhill police officer over the past 24 years, he cited a few deficiencies.
“I’ve seen good and bad. Obviously, the good in Haverhill out rules a lot of that bad. Haverhill is a great city and I can say I’m very proud to be a Haverhill police officer. It’s a great force and we have a great city. I think the citizens of Haverhill deserve more,” he said.
In particular, Cooper called for more officers on the street, especially in light of recent and coming retirements. “A lot of people have retired already or getting ready to retire so the increase in officers that we got are back down to a smaller amount and I’d like to see it come up a little bit,” he noted.
He added the fire department is also understaffed and firefighters shouldn’t have to fight for new trucks or the basic equipment they need to do their jobs.
“No one should wait on that. We should get the equipment and we should have what we need so we can help service the citizens of Haverhill,” he said.
Beyond these issues, Cooper called for a plan to address homelessness, drug and alcohol abuse, gangs and housing.
He invited residents to join him for his victory party Tuesday night at 7, at Peddler’s Daughter, 45 Wingate St.
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