Letter: Public safety concerns need a solution before state spends more on DMC
Gov. Mark Dayton and the Minnesota Legislature have shown confidence and commitment to help Rochester become the world's Destination Medical Center. The pictures of all the building plans for the DMC are spectacular and inspiring and represent essential infrastructure for the future of care that Mayo Clinic aspires to provide.
However, the Mayo Brothers understood it is the caring spirit, skills and teamwork of those who work here, not buildings, that bring people here seeking hope and healing.
I hope plans for the DMC include ways to protect this invisible infrastructure — our people — from the hazards of the extraordinary rate of growth envisioned by the DMC. Even now, Rochester's law enforcement and legal systems are under stress. More than 700 backlogged cases are on the caseload of our county attorney, who has stated that more than two-thirds of these are more serious than the prosecution of felony-level heroin and other illegal drug-trafficking allegedly taking place a few blocks from the DMC plans.
It will be important for those who work here and come here for care to feel safe in Rochester. This is something buildings alone cannot assure.
Therefore, before sending any money to Rochester for the DMC buildings, the governor and legislature should require that Rochester and Olmsted County have the means and mandate to strengthen our public safety and law enforcement system.