Guest opinion: Recent gathering in support of police was patriotic, not political
In reference to a letter to the editor written by Patricia Pond in the Aug. 22 edition, I’m pleased to see some bipartisan support for local law enforcement. Sadly, our officers don’t enjoy the community-wide support they deserve — some comments to The Park Record article from the Democratic/progressive side were repulsive to the point I stopped reading.
It’s my practice to assume good intent, not bad, until given reason to think otherwise. In fact, our “Celebrate Peace Officers” event in Pinebrook earlier this month was spontaneous and a grassroots effort, never intended to be a large gathering. Two busy older ladies (including yours truly) planned it on short notice. We had to navigate COVID, logistics and financial constraints. Our HOA would not open the Pinebrook Park pavilion or restrooms. Our food truck could only handle 75 patrons. Word spread quickly and we had an amazing turnout — not enough tacos, but plenty of drinks and good conversation with police and deputies and friends.
We invited members of our newly formed “Republicans of Park City” group, and the Summit County GOP helped us with funding. Yet it wasn’t a strictly partisan event. We invited Mayor Beerman and the Park City Council — not the most right-leaning folks in town. Councilmember Nann Worel attended for a short time as the mayor was on vacation. Our sheriff is a Democrat and was one of two invited main speakers. He (and Chief Carpenter) spoke of ending the divisiveness in our community and across party lines, a message received very positively by our group.
We invited The Park Record (like our City Council, not exactly conservative) to cover the event. Kudos to them for doing so fairly and accurately.
You may be a more moderate Democrat given your support of law enforcement. But anti-police sentiment is a leftist rallying cry — from New York City to Los Angeles, from Portland and Seattle to Atlanta, from Minneapolis to Austin, and cities in between, Democrats are leading the way to “reimagine,” defund or eliminate the police altogether. This is not what 81% of Black Americans want — they want the same (61%) or more (20%) police presence in their neighborhoods, according to a Gallup poll earlier this month.
Republicans aren’t attacking 7-year-olds for the hats they wear or dragging innocents from their vehicles and beating them to a pulp. They are not threatening suburban homeowners. They are not donning “Antifa wear” and looting and burning down small businesses, police stations and federal buildings. Or attacking police with bricks, bottles and Molotov cocktails — or trying to blind them with lasers. Police are retiring in droves and telling their children not to sign up.
Back to our event. It was not a Republican fundraiser as some have mused. Our event was a patriotic one — a celebration and a chance to thank our local law enforcement who protect and serve us each day. We raised $1,825 for the Utah 1033 Fallen Officers Foundation. This foundation financially assists the families of officers killed in the line of duty. Since the Foundation’s establishment in 2011, it has answered this call on 10 occasions, including earlier this year as we lost Ogden police officer Nate Lyday to fatal gunfire on May 28. With this solemn goal in mind, we preferred to have attendees likely to respect our flag and our Pledge of Allegiance. We wanted to minimize any chance of disruptive protests, and instead hear from our speakers. They were quite touched and very happy to have participated. We were likewise honored to have them.
Patricia, I’ll be sure to invite you personally next time we host such an event. In the meantime, I invite you and the rest of the community to donate to our fallen heroes here: utah1033.org/donate.
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