SMALL TOWN, BIG ISSUES.

It’s playing out like some lost episode of Twilight Zone or here in my temporary hometown. For such a small population the drama here runs deep, with much of it, in one way or another, orbiting the local city police department. Let me briefly share some observations and quickly describe some of the recent events.

Recently, the newish police chief, hired from out-of-state within the past couple years I believe, was placed on administrative leave, according to local reporting, after a complaint was filed by the former police chief accusing him of unethically moonlighting his private security company. Apparently, after a local business contacted the department asking for an assessment regarding reducing theft by shoplifting, the good chief said “we don’t really have time for that, but my business has you covered for as little as $600.” So tacky. Not surprising though considering the fact that the local Walmart had life-size cutouts of him in uniform at the entrances looking scary and pointing like, “don’t even think about stealing shit here.” These displays have disappeared. Huh?

Maybe a month ago, an officer responded to a call reporting gunshots only to somehow having his weapon taken by a man who attempted to murder him, firing like 6 9 mike-mikes into him before driving off in his prowler. Another words, the poor Sergeant was captured responding to a call involving known weapons, 5 blocks from the department. The story seemed like it would have a happy ending? The fucker was caught and the officer survived….only to die 10 days later during a relatively safe surgery on a damaged eye. So sad.

The weird part of this story, beyond an experienced officer being captured, is that supposedly the night he left for work he told his kids that “I think I am going to be shot tonight.?” What’s up with that? It’s not like this is South-side Chicago or West Baltimore. You envisioned being shot, then, responding alone to a shots fired call you get yourself captured…beside your own prowler? It just seems incredibly unfortunate?

The latest piece of de-di-de-di Twilight Zone, is last weeks supposed murder/suicide at a local motel on Thanksgiving, with the crime discovered the following day, according to the local paper? The initial report went: 4 found dead in room after employee found man crying in hallway. Employee looked in room then phoned 911. The “person” is not considered a suspect. Then today it comes out that the man was the father of the man who supposedly committed the crime, the husband of the older victim and grandfather of infant. The young lady, wife of suspect, was also murdered for no apparent reason, or at least no reason discovered to this point? 

A horrific tragedy that deserves more answers considering what we think we know. See, the man who was found outside the room crying is a former local police officer. 2005 to 2009. No information as to why he worked for only 4 years? Maybe transferred to a different agency? We don’t know, but the story is they were staying at the hotel due to them leaving the state soon. Huh? They lived here all this time but need to stay in hotel before leaving? The initial story included the young woman’s employer gushing over how well they liked her. Nothing about her leaving the state or her job? 

4 people are dead, so yes, something is terribly wrong. And yes, the police may know more and aren’t saying yet? The unknown knowns we have today would cause anyone to do a double take, right? The reporting so far has many holes, so many I won’t even begin. No matter what else comes out, or doesn’t, the scale of this tragedy feels enormous and must be impossible for anyone personally involved. I can’t even imagine.

I said all that to say this: a small town, too much tragedy and crap for just 3 months.

The final creepy chapter here has only tangential meaning. About 2 months ago I had a conversation with a friend of mine -who is Air Force police- about people who travel in the city openly carrying a sidearm. In my opinion, if you feel the need to be armed in public, get a concealed carry permit. The idea that openly brandishing a weapon in public, in the United States, makes most people unnecessarily uncomfortable and offers zero confidence in heightened safety. I could make an exception for the man or woman headed into the wild or returning, say, at the gas station or whatever. But wearing your .45 to lunch at Subway is wholly  inappropriate and ignorant.

The reason I brought the subject up was that that very day I encountered two different people armed in this manner. Both clearly made the situation uncomfortable with their decision, judging by the furtive glances by both employees and customers at the businesses. The creepy thing is, when a photo was released of the murder/suicide family, the young man accused of the crime was one of the very same men who were open carrying that day in Carl’s Jr. I remember clearly because later, we also ran into him and his wife with their infant at Starbuck’s, sparking the conversation. Weird.

This is a detour from my typical posts, I know. I hope it wasn’t too boring? Have a nice day! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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