The Herald Bulletin

August 20, 2013

Viewpoint: Police presence at meetings makes good sense

By Steven A. Smith Anderson resident

The Herald Bulletin

---- — By Steven A. Smith

Anderson resident

The proposed Mounds Lake Reservoir would be real close to our house — real close! The thought of being asked to move would not interest me at all. However, I like the fact that when we need water, we get water. I like new business activity because new business activity brings other new business activity. Our home town has lost too many major employers. Thankfully, we have a mayor working hard at new business development. Our community needs more new opportunities.

The statements in the Opinion published July 30, about the proposed Mounds Lake Reservoir must be addressed. She said, “I find it curious that uniformed officers are often present in force when the Madison County Corporation for Economic Development gives public presentations. It has had a rather chilling and intimidating effect on well-intentioned attendees with valid questions.” First, it was a forum that many questions were freely submitted in written or verbal form. Gary Brummitt, the emcee of the event, solicited further questions if a person felt theirs wasn’t addressed. I know, I was there! At the intermission, he said “If we haven’t covered your question, please come to me now!”

Secondly, is this person telling me the officers present at those school events in which she participated during all her years of teaching caused her to feel “intimidated”? It is sad that you can’t enter a public school without going through security. We all know things can go wrong in any gathering. New York, Arizona and Indianapolis on July 4th have shown us that disturbed people can, and will, put others at risk when their motivation to pull out a weapon has nothing to do with the subject matter. Sadly, we live in a different age. The owners of a facility do not want to be held liable if such an unprovoked tragedy occurs. They also want to be prepared. It makes good sense to have security nearby. On a visit to our nation’s capital, I learned that police and security are everywhere. You must go through security to get into most federal buildings.

Some won’t like this proposal and they have a right to disagree. However, let us all stick to the facts. Looking ahead, central Indiana needs more water. We love our neighborhood and the White River. It is important to realize that the advantages to the economy and livelihood to our children and grandchildren are immeasurable with the reservoir. It is exciting to plan ahead. We have leaders who are trying to do just that.