If any police department needs to know the community is behind it, Danbury tops the list. Because of ill will between the mayor and those behind an organization formed for that purpose, they have less of it.
Why the Danbury Police Department Citizen’s Association decided to disband out of frustration can lead to an hourslong discussion of the personalities involved, misunderstandings or countless other reasons behind the decision. Founder Kimberly Vines Scott simply put she believed her goals for the organization were made “unmanageable and unattainable.”
That must be even more demoralizing for a department that saw its last two police chiefs depart after less than three months in the post. Since Derek Dyson left as chief in June 2019 after five years in the post, Danbury has been without a permanent police chief for 18 of the last 22 months.
Amid the instability, the Danbury PD Citizens Association could be counted on to support the department through community programs. They contributed to the successful Blue Santa program, hosted an annual Daddy-Daughter Dance that drew hundreds and raised a good amount of money. Just as importantly, those efforts put the department and its officers in a positive light for the community.
We trust Scott and the others who made all that possible will continue to give their all to support their city’s police department because doing so matters to them, even if it’s without the auspices of a federally recognized nonprofit. But the loss of that cohesive banner will be felt, if not in fundraising and popular events, in the spirit of the effort and what it meant to officers.
Unlocked cars provide weapons for criminals
A string of car burglaries in the Columbia Lakes community is hardly a unique crime spree anywhere in Brazoria County or elsewhere. Sadly, neither is the reality that legal handguns are now in the hands of criminals.
All because people didn’t properly protect their property when they got out of their cars.
Whether it is wise to leave a handgun in a car overnight certainly merits discussion, but the reality is that talk only matters if a car is broken into — and in the case of most car burglaries, no breaking is required for entering. All the criminal has to do is tug on the handle to hit the jackpot.
We routinely report about wallets, expensive power tools, cell phones, computers and other valuables being swiped in the middle of the night by a stealthy burglar who finds a vehicle door unlocked. They too often also find weapons during their rummaging that can be pawned or sold on the street to people who intend to use it for something other than idly shooting tin cans off a fence post.
With all the technology available, people might take extra comfort that they are protected against burglars. But that fancy doorbell at 2 a.m. serves only to help identify a possible thief long after he’s run off with your stuff.
A better investment is the time it takes to ensure those vehicle doors are locked before bedtime.
Let’s hear it for the folks
Amelia Hatthorn earned special recognition with a centerpiece feature on our sports pages this week because of her achievements on the softball field and leadership on and off it. But she deserves plaudits for a point she needed to make during the interview for the story.
The Danbury senior pitcher understands it takes more than a strong personality and natural ability to accomplish what she has in a sport she loves. And it is a sentiment every current and former athlete should take a moment to let sink in.
“You go up to your parents and you say, ‘Mom, Dad, I want to play softball,’” she said. “So they enroll you in the little league and that’s what they did. I would not be here today without my parents. I want to make that point clear because they have done everything for me.
“They have taken me everywhere, they are at all of my games, they support me. When you are in league, you can tell who understands it (the game) and who doesn’t, and they saw that I was ready for the next step.”
Phrases like “soccer moms” have become popular in discussions about women voters, but they minimize the realities of what they selflessly do for their kids multiple days a week. Be it sports, choir performances, dance practices, piano lessons or any other number of interests their child might have, mom and dad (more often mom) log the miles on the SUV to put their children in a spot to succeed and nurture what can be a formative passion through childhood and even adulthood.
Thank you, Amelia, on behalf of all parents for making that valuable point. No one achieves success on their own, and most often, those most responsible can be overlooked. And almost always those most responsible are our mom and dad.