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Mayor Reece Keener: Pride in service
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Mayor Reece Keener: Pride in service

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As our country’s metropolitan areas descend into a dystopian chaos, we are bearing witness to a complete breakdown of societal order. Peaceful protests have been hijacked by organized activists, and they’ve now escalated into riots.

These lawless and emboldened thugs are committing a laundry list of egregious crimes including but not limited to: arson, theft, destruction of public property, battery, and even the murder of police officers, all in the name of “peaceful” protest.

I use the word “emboldened” because many of these anarchist “demonstrators” are receiving the seal of approval from elected officials in their respective jurisdictions. Downtown Seattle is being ransacked, as rioters have staked claim to the heart of the city and are defending it as law enforcement has been ordered to stand down. As incredulous as it may seem, police departments are being defunded in capitulation to the angry mob by feckless politicians.

Most troubling to me is that these same elected officials entered into an oath of office. They swore to uphold the laws, and protect against all enemies whether foreign or domestic. An oath is a pledge, something not to be broken. An oath should not be surrendered to the loud and amplified roar of lawless hordes.

Burning, looting, destroying, maiming and even killing are poor vehicles for legitimately advancing any political or social cause, unless you happen to live in a city that is governed by progressives. The true victims are the inter‐city residents that will be further impoverished by the destruction, while the paid activists return to their unscathed domains. It will take years and perhaps decades for many of these neighborhoods to heal and recover. I will go as far to speculate that in the wholesale absence of law enforcement, these neighborhoods will never reclaim their former vitality.

The “Thin Blue Line” (between chaos and order) upheld and defended by law enforcement has never been stretched tighter than it is now. We are observing a grotesque chapter in our history: the denigration and shaming of our police by a powerful, progressive movement. Every time that they wear the badge they are putting their life on the line, now more than ever before.

I have never been more thankful to live in a tranquil, rural area where the rule of law prevails. We are all neighbors, and yes we have our differences, but we respect each other. We adhere to the Golden Rule, a common thread of good citizenship. We don’t wantonly destroy public and private property and lash out at our law enforcement over grievances. This is a hallmark of a civilized and orderly community.

In our City, we are blessed to sleep comfortably at night under a safe blanket of protection that is provided by a dedicated and professional class of law enforcement officers. If we have an emergency, we know there will be an expeditious response. They wear the uniform with pride, and as we are reminded with the recent killing of NHP Sergeant Ben Jenkins, officers put their lives on the line each time they go on shift.

As the liaison to the Elko Police Department, I am in a position to speak to the professionalism of our officers. The members of our police department are held to a very high standard by a disciplined management team. They understand that the department is only as strong as its weakest link (as the Minneapolis PD is now painfully aware of). Marginal performance is not an option, nor is it tolerated.

Aggressive behavior is verboten and met with swift corrective action. When corrective action doesn’t work, the officer is relieved of duty. Our sworn officers are the cream of the crop.

In our dysfunctional national scene, which is eviscerating everything once held sacred, I am proud to live in a community that trusts the police, and places a value on public safety. I think it has never been more important than now for our elected officials to step up and publicly support our law enforcement professionals. Their very function — public safety — is just that. Without law enforcement, the Thin Blue Line collapses and the march toward chaos and societal collapse commences.

Reece Keener

Elko Mayor

P.S. please take a moment to thank a cop for their service and let them know that they are appreciated.

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