Reader letters, March 3

Mar 02, 2014

Maggie police officers deserve praise

To the editor:

I recently attended the NC Governor’s Highway Safety Program 2014 Symposium. In this venue, a wealth of information, training and inspiration is exchanged. During the past few years of not very positive imagery of our town, please be aware that the officers of Maggie Valley are a source of great pride to me.

They stand out for all the things that they do, but, as I watched them the week of the symposium, they really “shine” for the things they don’t do. They are never inappropriate. They quietly represent their agency, and the town, courteously and professionally, no fanfare. They don’t do any flashy driving, even though I know they are trained to do that in it’s time and place. They don’t let their tempers flare, when, on the witness stand, ridiculous defense attorneys attack their character, their training and their authority.

The night before we left, I encountered a medical emergency and was in the hospital until 4 a.m. A hectic day followed and then there was the three-hour drive home to face. I was all right, but understandably sleepy, and worried about being on the road alone.

Your officers stayed near me from Charlotte to Maggie Valley. They embody the true spirit of Good Samaritans and community service. What they did for me is no more, and no less, than they would do for any citizen who needed their assistance. When I see them at the Jonathan Valley school, or at the nursing center, I see them ensuring the safety and the security of our most fragile populations. I know that they go to every length to see that our tourists are safe.

In the work that I do, which usually involves fatal or serious injury wrecks, the officers of the Maggie Valley Police Department have shown extraordinary care to all of those involved. Months and years after the incident, they help me to shepherd crime victims through the complex, and sometimes cruel, court process.

Their jobs are difficult and dangerous and require extraordinary character and credibility.

I hope that you will always remember how important and special all of these officers are.

There are some very important decisions coming in the near future. One of them is the election of a new District Attorney. I hope that each of you will study the candidates, attend forums, read what they say and pay attention. Don’t let your political party be the only deciding factor. In Haywood County, we have the good fortune to have two exceptional candidates.

If you become the victim of a crime, the District Attorney will instantly become one of the most important people in your life. Get to know that person now, before the election. Make a careful decision before you cast that ballot.

Ellen T. Pitt