By Craig Hastings
It’s been a week for sure at TPD. As most local residents are aware, police and school administrators investigated a reported threat of physical harm to students and staff at the Tuscola High School last Monday. Two days later another lesser threat was called to our attention and also quickly resolved. At week’s end police investigated an off-campus alleged threat of physical harm by one juvenile to another with the use of a firearm. I believe none of these three reports were ultimately considered credible but all had to be investigated to our fullest capabilities.
With that said, probably most shooting incidents start with a simple threatening remark made by one angry and disturbed person to anyone who might be willing to listen to them. In today’s world so begins the tracking of a pattern. In the given three incidents from last week we will attempt to monitor the behavior of all involved. We witnessed the tragedy of 17 deaths in a Florida school because as it appears from reports, the Broward County Sheriff’s Office failed to connect the dots from over 40 visits to the home of the alleged shooter.
We at the Tuscola Police Department can only investigate what comes to us to be investigated. The current Administrators of the Tuscola Unit Schools are four of the very best I’ve enjoyed working with in my 38 years of working in law enforcement. It’s been our experience that anything that might require the inclusion of law enforcement is brought to our attention. Now that doesn’t mean that we will ultimately weigh in with an opinion or law enforcement action in every case. My point is that our school administrators in Tuscola error on the side of caution and include us because it’s in the best interest of safety for all students and faculty.
Unfortunately there are groups of people that are quick to rally under a dark flag to criticize and demean anyone that hasn’t performed to a standard they have created as their own. I’ve been the victim of this a few times myself over my years here in Tuscola as Police Chief. When we do a good job and keep the city a safe place to live and work, few ever acknowledge the work we’ve done to get us there. But, should I or any officer upset that one person that is always anxious to criticize our actions, everything we’ve ever done for the good of the city is all but forgotten. The majority of the people do care and do believe in us and do not feel the need to publicly praise us because there really shouldn’t be a need to do so nor do we think anyone should.
It amazes me that negative reporting trumps positive reporting in most every instance. Why is it that people can’t wait to read or hear anything negative but seem to care less about the good news? Instead of being quick to air dirty laundry why don’t we all sit down and quietly figure it out without going for blood. Don’t misunderstand me. I’m not supporting sweeping anything under a rug. If there’s a problem then okay, let’s roll up our sleeves and get to a fix without taking shots at one another before doing so. Who wins in a mudslinging contest?
What great amusement it must be for anyone outside of our community to witness. Taxpayer supported government will never be perfect. But when problems arise is it the right thing for a community’s own citizens to try to tear down and beat up on their own establishments? I think not. We live in a free country, free to travel and live wherever we please. If I didn’t like living in Tuscola because I think the City, the Township, or the Schools have failed me; I’ll move to another. I won’t stand at the pulpit in front of any of the controlling elected board members and complain unless I’ve done my research and know what I’m talking about. Too much of this is happening and a big, (pun intended) THANK YOU SOCIAL MEDIA!!!
Social Media will be the cause of the demise of the peace and tranquility we used to enjoy in not only our own lives but in the communities in which we live. How can everyone not see this?