A week ago we watched as the horrendous act of violence against Dallas police officers unfolded in front of us on the news networks.  Protests against the Baton Rouge police following a tragic shooting of an African American were mostly peaceful and was sending a message of change through peace.  This was reminiscent of the marches being led by Dr. Martin Luther King that led to major changes in race relations and desegregation.  Unfortunately, like the tragedy in Dallas, Baton Rouge has become ground zero for police assassinations.  As I write this I am sitting in anguish as police officers are ambushed and slaughtered.  The calls for justice and investigations by the Federal Department of Justice seem to be somewhat muted when it comes to the men and women in blue.  While the investigations will take place it is not with the fanfare portrayed when the police are alleged to be at fault.

There are some bad examples of police in our country and there is no sidestepping this or covering it up; however, as bad as some of the abuses of power are these are very small compared to the entire population of the men and women that have vowed to serve and protect.

Last week it was my turn to be the victim of crime.  I was raised in the middle of Farmerville at a time that we never locked our doors.  While living in Arabia it was so safe that doors need not be bolted.  Being naive, I often leave my keys in my vehicles.  I awoke on a hot Sunday morning to find that my Jeep was not where I had parked it.  My first thought was that my son had moved it to go fishing.  Then I noticed that the radio was set to a channel that I had never heard of.  The inside had apparently been ransacked but my daughters Bible, enclosed in a leather binder made by an Angola inmate had been carefully placed in the back to the vehicle.  The only thing that was missing was my orange baseball cap, the same cap I am wearing in my news article picture and in my book bios.

Social media is with us and it has a major impact on our lives.  My wife posted about my vehicle being taken for a joy ride.  Within minutes a member of the Farmerville Police Department contacted my wife and told her to call the Sherriff’s department.  Then ten minutes later our neighbor posted on social media that she had read my wife’s post, went out to look at her vehicle and discovered that two guns had been taken.  Minutes later the police were at our houses and soon after another car arrived to begin fingerprint work.

The police that were dispatched on this call were all over the case.  Several of the thieves were in custody and a series of thefts had been solved.  My wife did post that my cap was lost and surely not to be found.  The guns were eventually recovered and the serial numbers had been attempted to be removed.  The thieves should have been taking a metallurgy class instead of running the roads stealing from the public and they would have known that the compression from stamping the serial numbers leaves the numbers far below the actual visible marks.

As for the cap, one officer brought an orange cap into the station and asked if anyone know anything about it.  It was found in the middle of the road.  A Farmerville Police Officer said she knew who it belonged to.  It was posted on Facebook.  I got my cap back, my neighbor got her guns and a lot of young men will probably get some time at some institution.  Most were juveniles and it is hoped that this is a key learning for these young men and their lives can be salvaged.

As for the men and women in blue, there was nothing but professionalism from these individuals that want to only serve and protect.  Instead of ridicule they deserve praise.  Instead of scorn they deserve a thanks.  Instead of a bullet they deserve appreciation and support and a great big thank you.

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