Merced Police Chief Norm Andrade (“Keeping kids busy keeps them out of trouble,” Page 8A, May 15) is right: We need to invest in youth. Merced’s youngest residents deserve more recreational opportunities, more services, more healthy activities and better parks because prevention is powerful.
Many Merced residents, business leaders, community groups and volunteers already know the power of prevention. Need proof? Look at McNamara Park. Last year, the Mac was closed. Now, thanks to many different sources, it’s open and thriving. Businesses have donated computers. Good samaritans have donated tables, chairs and other necessities. Volunteers and community groups have donated hundreds of hours of their time, and the city of Merced has covered some expenses to keep the doors open.
Chief Andrade, please keep advocating for more youth investment at all levels of government and from all sources. The Mac and other parks can use the dollars, and we can all keep the change.