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This week’s edition!

Enough is Enough: During a tragedy, police do what they are trained to do: protect and serve

By Robert E. Macdonald

Mayor of Lewiston

Half a league, half a league, half a league onward, all in the Valley of Death rolled the six hundred. “Forward the Light Brigade! Charge for the guns!”

Thus begins Alfred Lord Tennyson’s poem, “The Charge of the Light Brigade,” recounting the heroic, some say foolish/suicidal charge on October 25, 1854 of the Russian artillery on Belacava Heights in the Crimea.

The charge made by these brave men was celebrated throughout the British Empire.

Unfortunately, heroic actions performed daily by our police officers in blue and brown is far too often looked at with a jaundiced eye by a large number of the general public.

Unlike the Light Brigade, who charged the guns with the purpose of winning a battle, today’s police officers run to the sound of the guns to save lives; contrary to a theme that repeatedly resonates in media coverage, no litmus test is ever used by responding officers. The only thing that is going through their minds is the motto on many of their patrol vehicles: Protect and Serve.

We have all viewed the endless amount of film documenting terrorists flying two airliners into New York City’s Twin Towers. Countless law enforcement and public safety personnel are documented running towards crumbling buildings with only one purpose: to save lives, not to take them. For many officers, their devotion to public safety costs them their lives.

During the last few weeks we have repeatedly watched in horror as a gunman in Las Vegas fired on a crowd of concert goers from his hotel room overlooking the concert. What was the police response?

They did what they are trained to do: respond and provide protection to the general public. Some ran to the sounds of the gunfire in order to neutralize the shooter. Others rushed to those trapped inside a killing box created by the fenced-in concert perimeter.

They provided first aid to the wounded, desperately trying to stop their bleeding and rushed them to safety. They helped evacuate many concert goers by acting as human shields by placing their bodies between intended victims and the shooter. Again, no litmus test was applied.

Sadly, when such horrific community violence occurs, the news media continues to focus on ratings, while liberal progressive politicians play to the crowds in order to advance their political careers. This does a disservice to the public, especially those living in minority communities.

The press and these elected officials have created hesitation in police officers who fear they will be reprimanded, suspended, sued, possibly civilly or criminally charged for perceived wrong, face firing or jail time for doing their job.

It is past time that the executive branch of the federal government start removing politicians that don’t adhere to the sacred oath in which they swore to uphold all the laws of our country.

The last time our country’s politicians chose to pick and choose, it led to a Civil War.

This week I would be remiss if I did not recognize David “Top Dollar” Gervais for his outstanding fundraising efforts on behalf of the Dempsey Cancer Center. Over the years he has raised over $100,000.

David works as a dishwasher at Bates College. His dedication to the Dempsey Center and his big heart truly elevates him to the Pantheon of Lewiston’s greatest citizens.

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