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EDITORIAL: Stop playing politics when safety is at risk

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Perhaps the most level-headed person in the discussion between the city and the county regarding our emergency responders’ radio system actually isn’t an employee or elected official of either the city or the county.
During a special meeting of the Taylorsville City Commission, Sgt. Scott Herndon, with the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife — who is very much a Spencer Countian — reminded us all of why we even care about this radio business in the first place.
Herndon and all other Fish and Wildlife officers are full-time law enforcement officers who respond to drug raids, car crashes, etc., in addition to his daily duties with Fish and Wildlife. Herndon is trained and qualified to respond to dangerous scenes and he does.
During Thursday’s meeting, Herndon recounted a situation that occurred some time ago when all law enforcement officials were on the lookout for a specific vehicle. Herndon said he came in contact with that vehicle and pursued it. As he was radioing into dispatch (which was local at the time), the vehicle stopped at a residence hosting a party and the suspect got out and headed inside.
Herndon recalled that he yelled toward the suspect, “Hey, stop!” before he put down his microphone, meaning those two words were the last to go out over the air before he exited his vehicle and went after the suspect on foot.
Thankfully, Herndon apprehended the suspect without any further complications.
However, when he got back to his radio, he learned that two city police officers and sheriff’s deputy were on their way to him.
“I didn’t need them,” Herndon told the commission. “But it sure was nice to know they were coming if I needed them.”
Isn’t that what it’s about, folks?
We need an effective radio communications system so that our first responders can stay safe and keep our people safe. Period.
It’s not about egos, it’s not about name-calling — it’s about one thing, public safety.
As Herndon told the city commission, “It’s terrible this county is being split on an issue as important as public safety.”
When our elected officials are more concerned about name-calling and who’s right and who’s wrong than how we can all calmly work together for the betterment and safety for our people, we, the people, are at risk. Your safety is at risk.
Let’s hope Spencer County isn’t the next community to be hit by a storm as hard as Sandy or a tornado as powerful as those that ripped through Kentucky communities in early March.
How would we fare? If, first of all, our emergency responders could hear and talk to each other on their radios, would they be able to work well enough together to keep us safe?
Public safety is not a political issue, or at least it shouldn’t be. Our officials need to show citizens that the safety of this community is more important than playing politics.
We urge you, readers, to let your voices be heard. The phone numbers for your elected officials appear on this page every week. Let them know what you think. Let them know that your safety is more important than any game they can play and ask them to keep your well-being at the forefront of their decisions.