Arnaudville Police Department
The Chief's Blog
The Chief's Blog
The Tide Will Turn
The Tide Will Turn
November 17, 2021
As we enter the holiday season – the season of “giving”, I reflect on the last year as your Chief. It has been a challenging year, both professionally and personally, but because I am a man of faith, I have to believe that my Maker is ultimately in control.
As a Police Chief managing a small rural department, my biggest challenge has been recruiting and retaining quality personnel. Arnaudville suffers the same fate and the same struggles as almost every other law enforcement agency in the country. We must recognize those elements that are impacting our efforts, and fight against some of the negative attitudes and perceptions we get from some of our citizens, from municipal officials, and from within our own ranks. We must acknowledge that there exists leadership that does not have the best interest of our citizens in mind; leadership that often turns its back on the brave and committed men and women who carry the badge and wear the uniform. There are invisible forces behind the scenes who would change the fundamental direction and values we have fought for for generations.
My over two decades serving in law enforcement has obviously been met with moments of challenge – Hurricane Katrina, big city crime, facing the tragedy and sorrow of fallen officers, meeting families of victims, and more – all to be anticipated as a police officer. What I never anticipated was a national movement that vilifies, disregards, dismisses and destroys the lives and livelihoods of decent, honest and hard-working law enforcement officers. A top-to-bottom movement that ultimately results in more crime, more disorder, and more chaos in communities and trauma to innocent citizens. As in every such movement, we always see a course correction, and I am optimistic that we will see the tide turn.
As I reflect on a personal level, I count the many family and friends who have been touched by a global pandemic that left us nowhere to hide and no immunity from devastating loss. My own brother succumbed to Covid-19, as did many of his fellow nursing home residents. Otherwise healthy family members, young and old did not escape the clutches of Covid. Attempting to understand the rationale for restrictions, mandates, and closures left more confusion, division and distrust. Covid took lives, but also took much more from us – our compassion, tolerance, empathy and trust. We are left as cynical, suspicious and mistrustful citizens choosing sides, and isolating and ostracizing those who dare to contradict or question.
But, as we move through all of this, we are left with our faith. Faith that tells us that while we are all on borrowed time, the best is still ahead of us. Life is constantly renewing, evolving and transforming into something better. We only need to wait, because the course will be corrected. The pendulum will swing the other way.
For those who can never see beyond their own selfishness or greed, or who fail to believe life is about giving and not taking, I have pity for them. The misery and hurt they inflict on others will come back to rest on their own souls. For the majority of us, the holiday season - the season of “giving” is but a time when our challenges, our pain and our struggles are overshadowed by the good we can do for others.
Happy Holidays, Arnaudville!
|Posted on August 8, 2014 at 2:01 PM|
I attended the Louisiana Municipal Association Conference in Baton Rouge last week, and found the experience enlightening. I had earlier attended the Louisiana Association of Chiefs of Police. As with any profession, one can find a professional organization made up of peers, experts, novices, and retirees, and attending those conferences and gatherings will enhance your knowledge. Admitting that I don’t know everything about what I do, nor have experience in every conceivable scenario, I feel it is my duty and obligation to take every opportunity to glean from others, gain from their experience, and yes, be open to new concepts, new methods and ideas. Attending such conferences can also serve as a valuable networking tool, and occasionally result in dividends and benefits that would not normally come knocking on your door.
At both gatherings, I was able to network with other Chiefs, Mayors, and council members, as well as state officials and experts. I visited dozens of exhibits, talked to many vendors, and brought home a stack of material. But, more than the casual meetings, I found that when I spoke about our wonderful community, the needs of our people, and the essential upgrades to our police department, I was met with interested listeners, and several people willing to assist me in attaining some of those upgrades. My wife has taught me that a donation you don’t receive is the one you didn’t ask for; so, I am not too proud to ask!
Guess you could say that a common theme at both conferences was the emphasis on working together, not just getting along for the sake of peace, but to actually work together to tackle issues, and that means setting aside personal biases and prejudices, listening with respect to the voices of others, and presenting to the community that elected you a body of elected officials that really are able to work together for the common good.
As in any venture you set out for, any goal you set, or any trial you may be going through, we were not met to do it alone. We really are in the same boat. Whether it is a mayor, an alderman or a police chief, the key to moving the boat forward is that all rows in unison and in the same direction, understanding that each must maintain a level of independence. But, for the sake of our community, the families we serve and the children under our care, we must have as our number one priority – working together, asking for help when we need it, and respecting everyone in the boat.
Categories: The Working Chief