I understand that with the current gun control debate raging in congress and state after state succumbing to increased gun control and encroachment of our rights it would be natural to blame an entity for the actions of its members. But, the truth is that the City of Temple is NOT an anti-gun city. The Temple Police Department is NOT an anti-gun department.
This city is like a family. For the most part, we get along well with each other. Crime is not very high (that I’m aware of) and the standard of living is good. Our downtown is beautiful and historic. It’s populated with small, mom and pop restaurants, bookstores, and shops. There is a moving memorial to all the fallen Temple residents that paid the ultimate sacrifice fighting this nation’s wars.
Temple is very pro-military. I even flew a special flag on the 10th anniversary of 9/11 specifically for the City to put on its wall. Citizens of Temple took care of me and my team while we were deployed sending us care packages and letters.
This is a wonderful, conservative town. I hate that people are lashing out and saying they will never step foot here. I assure you, those who avoid Temple are doing themselves a disservice. I can’t think of anywhere else I’d rather be in the greatest state in the union.
We also have a great police department. Sure, there are some rough edges and they are being addressed. But, I urge you not to denigrate the entire police force. Up until March 16th, I never once had a negative encounter with a Temple PD officer. This tells me that incidents like mine aren’t the accepted practice in the department. I know a few of the officers personally and it pains me to see them accused of things that don’t apply to the majority of them. There is no agenda by the Temple PD to disarm citizens that I’m aware of. I do think that Bell County has too many issues pertaining the lawful carrying of firearms and there are too many instances of people being illegally disarmed in the area. I also disagree with the oppressive nature of the motorcycle cops that seem to serve no purpose but raising revenue for the city. However, that is a problem that EVERY city has. Too often, our police officers are reduced to being nothing more than local tax collectors along the veins of the Sheriff of Nottingham (and no, I’ve never gotten a speeding ticket in Temple).
Even with that said, I love and respect this city and I love and respect the Temple PD. Right now, there are trust issues because of how I was treated and how the supervisors don’t seem to be willing to reel in their officers. The good news is that those officers that need reeling in are few and far between.
It is simply unfair and inaccurate to blame the City of Temple for what happened to me. We will see whether or not the Temple PD supports the actions of its officer. Based on the statements released by CPL Wilcox, I tend to believe that at least some of the accusations may be true.
So, I’m asking for a temporary truce. Until the charges are dropped or this is prosecuted, I humbly ask that you exercise judicious reservations in criticizing the city and police department. Now, if you think the actions of the officers on the scene based on what you saw in the video were outside the bounds of their authority, I understand that. I’m with you there. But, let’s back off the phone calls and emails and Facebook postings and give the city and PD a chance to formulate an appropriate response.
Remember, right now this is not in the hands of the City of Temple or the Temple PD. Only the Bell County prosecutors can drop the charges. The Chief of Police and Mayor can probably put some pressure on prosecutors, but the decision is ultimately in the prosecutors’ hands. Believe me, no one wants justice more than I do. I’m confident that I will get justice and I know that I will cleared of all charges against me. But, please be respectful and engage in meaningful dialogue in your communications. Temper your emotions and convey your feelings intelligently and professionally.
I love the City of Temple! I was born here. I spent my summers growing up working on our family farm here. I have many friends here. We have a friendly City Council and we’re about to have a great mayor in Danny Dunn (shameless plug). If you come here, I think you’ll love it too. Just don’t speed. They want nothing more than to take your money. 😉