Don't take officers for granted
Published 3:28 am Wednesday, January 17, 2007
If there's any group of workers taken for granted in our community, I have a feeling it's our law enforcement officers and firefighters.
I considered this Friday night as I stood with sheriff's department and rescue squad officials as they worked to pull a van from the Conecuh River.
It was a frustrating assignment, looking for a van in the middle of the river in the dark. They were all pretty sure no one was in it, but they couldn't take that risk and had to work quickly to be certain.
But you could tell that, for many of them, it was the type of excitement they signed on for - whether as paid employees or volunteers.
But that work still takes them away from their families, and it can be difficult and dangerous.
Friday night's recovery of a van was not particularly dangerous, but it did cost our law enforcement teams time and money - all because of someone's apparent need to get rid of the vehicle in such a dramatic way.
The incident caused some excitement and some big headlines, but it was really all in a day's work for the officers.
And it was pretty tame compared to what they normally do.
That same Friday, the police worked the train accident that started the whole van incident; they later worked a second chain-reaction wreck caused by the train accident; and meanwhile, the drug task force was making a bust that included several arrests.
Many of those events are fairly tame, but they are taxing and tedious. We tend to think of our community as a quiet one, but I think if any of us spent any time in the shoes of a police officer or firefighter we would discover differently.
In today's edition, we have a story about the new foot patrols Brewton police officers are using in the East Jackson Street neighborhood to cut down on crime.
That's a unique opportunity for those officers to get to know the neighbors while they work to keep the streets safe.
Also in today's edition of The Brewton Standard is a story about two other local heroes - our Brewton firefighters of the year. Sgt. Dylan Byrd and James Jordan are invaluable to our community, as are all of the law enforcement officers and firefighters who work to protect Brewton, East Brewton and Escambia County.
The work they do results in more than just headlines and interesting stories - it is day in, day out hard work, and we are a safer community for it.
Kerry Whipple Bean is publisher of The Brewton Standard. She can be reached at 251-867-4876 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.