When I saw the headline of the New Albany Gazette late Friday, I couldn't believe my eyes: "Blue Springs Suspends Police Department."
The article reported that the board of alderman voted to suspend operations of the police department for thirty days with plans to vote to close it completely at their next scheduled meeting.
Alderman Malcom Leath led the contingent in favor of dissolving the police department. First-time Aldermen Andrew Grisham and Rick Bradford voted with him. Alderwoman Shirley Allen, grandmother of Alderman Grisham's wife, left the meeting before the vote was taken.
Mayor Gentry and Alderwoman Lynda Bramlett strongly opposed the decision, but the majority prevailed.
The article went on to describe other services that the board of aldermen for our small town (population ~428) are considering eliminating next, including building codes and the building inspector.
They question the need for a city attorney and a judge.
They've cancelled Blue Springs Day, an event at which the town comes together for fun, food, and games for the children.
The reported reason for all this is funding. I retired from public service at the end of June. The budget for the year was balanced at that time. Money was tight, but we managed to make it work. Funding? Really?
Is this legal? Can this new board undo all that's been done to grow and protect our town? Can they abandon the investment of the good people who helped us prepare for the arrival of our new neighbor, Toyota?
After they've suspended the police, are we surprised those same people want to abandon legal counsel and expertise as well?
In a perfect world, a town would not need laws or law enforcement officials. People would always do the right thing, love their neighbor as themselves, and treat others as they wanted to be treated. That's the goal for Christian behavior and how we will live in heaven. It is, unfortunately, not the norm in our society.
We live in a broken world, full of flawed humans who press their own agenda before that of the common good. We, as a society, are all too willing to do what it takes to have what we want. Laws and enforcement of those laws protect a society from itself. It's how we prevent anarchy.
Scripture is clear. The believer is to obey man's laws. Respect authority. Pray for people in positions over us. Those of us in Blue Springs need prayer for the ones in authority more than ever.
Please join us by praying that man's agenda will not succeed, but that God's plan for order will prevail. Pray that decisions will be made for the common good and not to further one man's personal agenda.
This is about more than Blue Springs. Consider this...if these changes can happen in our town, they can happen anywhere in our nation.
Please, I beg you to pray for Blue Springs and for our nation. As a retired elected official, I am deeply troubled, and heartbroken, by this unexpected precedent.
A special called meeting will be held Tuesday, September 12, at 6 pm at town hall. The public is welcome to attend.
"Seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, ad pray to the LORD on its behalf; for in its welfare you will have welfare." Jeremiah 29:7
"...the fervent effectual prayer of a righteous man availeth much." James 5:16b
In case you missed it, here's the link to yesterday's post: The Caregiver Chronicles: When Short Becomes Long
If you feel led to partner with this ministry (US, Middle East, the digital world), here's the link to give your tax-deductible donations: Global Outreach Acct 4841
Or you can mail your check or money order to: Global Outreach/ PO Box 1, Tupelo MS 38802. Be sure to put Account 4841 in the "for" line.