Friday, July 24, 2020

Strong Policing Foundation for Best Place to Live

Without the strong foundation of public safety that we have through our police and sheriff departments, we would not be a community touted in national publications as one of the best places to retire, best places to live America.  It is that very foundation that has enabled our community through public and non-profit funding and a spirit of volunteerism to support hundreds of social programs including youth programs like AMI Crossroads and homelessness programs like the Homeless  Coalition,  Drug initiatives like Drug Free Charlotte County just to name a few of the many, many such programs in the amazing place we call our home.  

It distresses me and many others in our community that I have spoken with in recent weeks that political agitators are using one very tragic and unconscionable  incident in our nation to push forward agendas that would harm local communities like ours.  Communities that have been very safe and supportive of all citizens  unlike some of our major cities that have been made unsafe and are being driven to becoming more so by misdirected  and very bad political leadership.  

It was recently suggested in this paper that a local response was needed to address justice in policing, further recommendation a reallocation of funds.  That local response has been continual in our community and doesn’t require the nudging motivated by election year politics.   For example, the police and sheriff’s offices have long prior to the Floyd event banned any restraints or restraining methods that may impede breathing during arrests.  Both departments have been diligent with respect to continuous training of officers, the scruntizing of any misconduct and protection of all citizens rights under our constitution.  Moreover, transparency has been paramount. Police and sheriffs budgets are based on carefully review processes by city and county management and elected officials.  It is reckless at best to suggest a knee-jerk redirection of police funds based on agendas outside this community.  

We are fortunate to live in a small, friendly community that provides extensive access to our officials including those we have entrusted with our basic safety and protection - men and women willing to risk their own safety for us every day. The close community involvement with our law enforcement officials has worked well for all.  Sure there is always room for improvement which I have witnessed happening continually over my 20 years here, improvement  that I am sure will continue in this very well run community under the leadership of our Sheriff and Chief of Police.  Thank you Sheriff Prummell and Chief Davis for your leadership and all you do for this community.

Gene Murtha 

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