The good people of Hinesburg are grappling with the question of continuing their community police program. It’s an active topic on their Front Porch Forum. Many people were moved by the posting below that appeared yesterday…
Reading Rob’s comments about Hinesburg’s community police history has moved me to share an experience I had in 2004 that truly describes what community police service means to me. I was caring for my very ill Mother at home following recent surgery. I came downstairs early one morning to check on her and her dogs and found that she had died during the night. In a state of shock I immediately called 911. The first responder was a Hinesburg police officer (I regret that I can’t remember his name). He was at my house immediately and went to my Mother’s side. The paramedics came next, and then a coroner. But it was that police officer who really made the difference for me that day. He sat with me, helped me find a funeral home, and made the arrangements to have them come for my Mother. After my Mother was taken away, all of the others left, but not this police officer. He wouldn’t leave until I could get a friend to come by. That is what I call community police service, and I am grateful every day for what that Hinesburg police officer did for me.
I also want to commend the community-oriented services provided by Chief Morrell and extend my best wishes to him as he moves to a new location. When one of Chief Morrell’s service dogs died I sent him a card with a donation to help support future police service dogs in our community. Soon after I got a personal telephone call from Chief Morrell, telling me how much he appreciated my recognition of these very special dogs.
As far as I am concerned a strong community ethic is vital to any town, and it has been demonstrated many ways in Hinesburg. Thanks to all our local businesses for friendly service and making it possible to get much of what we need without going far from home. And, for heavens sake, look what Front Porch Forum is able to do to hold a community together. As an example, I can’t believe how many lost pets have been found just because community members care for each other and stay in touch. I feel lucky to be part of this community.