Brewton police receive thanks

Published 5:59 pm Monday, June 22, 2009

By Staff
Chadwick K. Hartley
Because we live in a small and rural southern town, the Brewton Police Department is sometimes jokingly compared with that of Andy and Barney of the TV town of Mayberry. I must confess that in my earlier years I may have contributed to this comparison. Often we criticize our public agencies out of indifference, no inefficiency. We have no true appreciation for their presence in our everyday life until we personally need them.
As a result of a recent personal need, I became more aware of the services provided by the BPD. I would like to take this opportunity to publicly recognize the efficiency of the BPD and thank those officers involved in the investigation of the theft and ultimate return of my ATV. I am not aware of all those involved in the investigation and will no doubt omit some names. That being said, I hope you understand that your contributions are valued just as much as those officers with whom I or other family members had personal contact. I thank all of you for your diligence and perseverance in locating and returning the stolen ATV.
On May 12, 2009, family members discovered that my Artic Cat ATV had been stolen from the carport the previous night. A call was placed to the BPD and shortly thereafter Office Cooper arrived to gather the necessary information to file a report and forward it to the investigation team. Within hours contact had been made with Officer Miles, Officer Durden, Officer Stanley and Officer Hold and I found the investigation was well under way. I was very jubilant and excited about the possibility of a quick recovery of my property. Over the next several days I talked about the ongoing investigation with some of these same officers as well as Officer Suarez and Officer Ferguson. I must admit that as time passed I began to doubt the success of finding my ATV. However, the officers remained upbeat and positive. I am sure they had certain information I was not privy to.
To my pleasant surprise, I received a call at my work place early on the morning of May 28. Officer Suarez was calling to let me know my ATV had been recovered and would be returned to me on that date. He stated the ignition switch was destroyed and there was a flat tire. Further observation revealed several missing and/or broken parts and cosmetic damages. The mechanical condition is unknown at this time but will be evaluated by employees at the Artic Cat dealership. Regardless of the severity of damages, I must continue to make the same monthly payments on the ATV for many more months. These payments are due regardless of the condition or usability of the vehicle – due even if the ATV had not been recovered.
It is sad that we have people among us that have no respect for others or their properties. To them I say, if you want something do as I and millions of others. Get a job, work and pay for it, do not steal from those of us who make an honest effort to legally provide for ourselves.
As I understand, warrants have been served and individuals arrested for the theft. Now, may the judicial system levy sufficient and harsh enough penalties that will cause the thieves to re-evaluate and improve their present life-style. While I make no attempt to understand their reasons for being a thief, I cannot believe there is a justifiable reason. Our actions are determined by the choices we make.
Again, thank you Brewton Police Department and please continue to effectively and efficiently serve the citizenry of Breton even though you seldom receive the recognition you deserve.
Chadwick K. Hartley