THE COMMITTEE FOR HONEST LAW ENFORCEMENT
September 4, 2007
Dear Friends and Neighbors:
For those of you who don’t know me, please allow me to introduce myself. My name is Christine but many folks call me Chris. I’m 58, self-employed and the single mom of five marvelous kids.
Shawna, my youngest, a homeschool student, is 14. Josh is 16, a public school student in Clinton who wears the #63 jersey on the football team.
Shalom is 18. Middle daughter of my three, she works full-time at a local convenience store in Fairfield Bay while she builds-up her own business doing website development, advertising and public relations. Five short months ago she joined our local volunteer fire department and has now completed all the physical and classroom training to earn official State of Arkansas certification as a firefighter.
Adam, who will soon be 21, just received a promotion and raise in pay at his place of employment. After a year of apprenticeship at this company and two years prior work in the construction trade, he has earned the job title of ‘heavy equipment operator’ and compares the work to playing a real-life video game.
My eldest, Patty, turns 38 this year. She resides in Florida and is part of the management team of a motocross park. Her activities include maintaining the park’s website, wrangling rambunctious young riders into compliance with safety rules and operating the bulldozer to groom the track.
Dare I say with all humility, I am proud.
My family has lived in these magnificent Ozark Mountains for 18 years. We chose to move here because of the great natural beauty and because nearly all of the people we encountered impressed us as genuinely happy, earnestly caring, self-reliant and hard working souls. We knew this community would be a good place to raise our children.
When we first relocated from Florida, we rented a house from Cal Graham in Clinton. He encouraged us to enter Shalom, then just 22 months of age, in the County Fair Beauty Pageant. We did and she was crowned "Tiny Baby Miss Van Buren County – 1989". That was the first of many marvelous events that have accumulated as precious memories of the good life we’ve enjoyed living here.
Why do I share this with you? Because I want you to know something about me; that I am a real person living a genuine life and I hope you will listen and hear with an open mind what I am going to say:
Over the past five years and with greater regularity of late, rumors, circumstances and events have come to my attention alleging suspicious conduct and illegal drug-related activity on the part of certain officials in our county. One outstanding example involves a local meth dealer, twice arrested and twice freed from jail resultant of a supposed behind-the-scenes payoff. Numerous other allegations range from theft of property and harassment to coercion and willful deception on the part of law enforcement officials. Coupled with personal observations and first-hand experiences dating back to December of 2002 and including now several incidents involving my own family members [see also: BATTLELINES DRAWN OVER POLICE INFORMANT], when approached by several friends with the request to ‘do something’ about all of this ‘corruption’ I voluntarily chose to help with establishing The Committee For Honest Law Enforcement in our hometown and accepted the organizational title of Chairwoman.
Respectfully, I receive this recognition as a serious duty to serve and foster the well-being of the community that I and my family live in and love.
As the first official act as The Committee, on August 16, 2007, aletter was mailed to our local DPA’s Office regarding the legal obligation of police informants to obey the law. This letter included a request for prosecution of an identified informant for drug dealing and notice that the Sheriff’s office had two weeks prior received a citizen complaint with substantive proofs including the legally recorded confession of the informant/drug-dealer, but had to date failed to act.
Also on August 16, a PDF copy of this referenced letter was emailed to (approx.) 60 individuals who are known by reputation to be fair-minded proponents of civic activism. Then on August 22, a letter to the editor was published in the VBC Democrat referencing the formation of The Committee and my phone number as a contact. By way of a report a to you, the ‘citizen public’, which the work of The Committee is dedicated to serve, the response to this effort thus far has been dramatic.
In addition to various requests by private citizens to ‘take them seriously’ and ‘look into’ events which they say they have reported to law enforcement but that have apparently fallen on deaf ears, The Committee has also been politely warned by several people that those who previously dug into such allegations were, essentially, run out of town.
Some have called for emphatic changes to the standards that have become ‘routine practice’ by law enforcement. For example, there is a growing demand for JPs, sheriffs, their employees, the mayor, the judges, local police, pastors, prosecutors, lawyers, state police, etc., to be randomly tested for drug use, just as is now being done to our children in school.
Built on this ‘good for the goose, good for the gander’ standard of ‘do unto others’ common sense, in the sole interest of ending hypocrisy by fortifying honesty and integrity throughout our justice system, many independent voices are demanding that local law enforcement be forbidden to invest economic or human resources in the interdiction of any ‘non-violent’ crime until, unless and only after all ‘violent’ crime is 100% resolved.
Most pervasive among the complaints, however, is the insidious assertion that while it is a widely well known fact that corrupt behaviors are ever present in our justice system, there is nothing that ‘we the people’ can do to change this and so it is best for us to keep our mouths shut or else risk falling prey to the malevolent behaviors of those who are doing the dirty work.
"It’s unpatriotic to spy on Americans and let’s face it, that is what is REALLY happening here in VBC," wrote one local citizen who further calls for "a realistic assessment of the so-called 'drug problem' by independent-minded citizens to determine what the problem really is and how best to use the vast sums of money now allocated to ‘fighting the war on drugs’."
In this regard, The Committee welcomes your questions and seeks your involvement. We note with concern that we have to date had no response to our August 16 letter to the VBC DPA’s office. Respectfully, we see this as a violation of the due process clause of the Constitution of the U.S.A. which embodies the principle that the government must respect all of a person's legal rights instead of just some or most of those legal rights when the government deprives a person of life, liberty, or property. For more information, please contact me. Thanks….
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