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I typically do not write about political matters, however, with recent events in our nation and in our state, I feel compelled to mention a few topics. My goal is to remain neutral to various political beliefs. The government shutdown and political posturing impacts American families, including families living in Person County. I was recently at a community event where I listened to a representative from Person County Department of Social Services discussing the impact the shutdown is having on various local assistance programs. They are doing a phenomenal job with the resources they have, but the shutdown has created undue hardships. Quality of life for these citizens is quickly being diminished and lives will be at risk without the assistance. Regardless of your stance about government assisted living, the recipients are still human and their lives matter.
As a police executive, I have concerns about public safety, related to a lack of resources dedicated to counter terrorism. Regardless of your stance on border security, that issue encompasses more than the southern border. The Coast Guard, TSA, Customs and other entities all play a vital role on combating human trafficking, drug smuggling and other crimes. The broader matters of border security are something, I think, most every American citizen understands and supports. After all, 9/11 happened because we did not have the protections in place we do today. History need not repeat itself because of political posturing. The government’s number one duty is protection of its citizens and a shutdown impedes that responsibility.
The other topic dear to my heart is the unprecedented violence against law enforcement. In the past five years, the rise of violence and anti-government/police ideologies are plaguing the safety of communities nationwide. In the past five years, 254 law enforcement officers have been murdered in the line of duty. That is staggering and attention getting. In North Carolina last year, Trooper Conner was murdered by gunfire. This year, Raleigh Police Officer Ainsworth and Trooper Harrell are recovering from gunshots to their facial areas. The violence must cease. The anti-police ideology will not win and violence is not the answer. Dr. Martin Luther King said, “The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy.”
On a lighter note, I want to wish an early happy birthday to a dear friend who always has a proper perspective. Mr. Brooks Stewart turns 92 years old this month. Every time I talk with him or offer to help he says, “Thank God and thank you next.” President Ronald Reagan once said, “If we ever forget that we’re one nation under God, then we will be one nation gone under.” In my estimation, both men have a proper perspective. I wonder if the turmoil we are experiencing in our nation is because we have lost a proper perspective?
Have a blessed weekend.
Roxboro Police Chief David Hess and The Courier-Times have partnered to print a monthly Chief’s Column. The Chief’s Column will be published the first Saturday of each month. Personians can submit questions to be answered in the next edition and the chief will provide updates on community policing initiatives, safety awareness and other happenings in the city.