Set up for success – next time we’ll be replacing people

By Tom Henry | in the May 13, 2017 edition of the Blytheville Courier News

“High performers and those who are set up for success love accountability.” – Dan Rockwell

“Accountability is the glue that ties commitment to results.” –Anonymous

It is entirely unfair to expect a baseball player to knock a grand slam home run if he isn’t given a bat. It is entirely unfair to expect students to excel academically if they are not given any textbooks and a painter can’t paint a masterpiece unless they have brushes. Likewise, it has been argued that a police department can’t eliminate or restrain crime in Blytheville when they don’t have the resources, pay scale, building, and etcetera to do so.

Well, after Tuesday’s vote, the people of Blytheville made it abundantly clear that they were willing to throw more money at the problem because they support their police and fire departments. With the passage of both the Public Safety Tax and the Justice Center Bonds, the Blytheville Police Department will, according to Mayor James Sanders, all Blytheville City Council members and Police Chief Ross Thompson, be able to put into place a pay scale that brings Blytheville police up to state average for cities our size. They will also be able to move out of the old police department and district court and into the new justice center at the former armory.

Additionally, we the people are investing up to $2.5 million into the freely acquired facility in order to remodel, equip and design the workspace in a way that optimizes the department’s operations to maximum efficiency.

Bringing the department’s pay up to state average, according to the above named city leaders, will also stop the hemorrhage of police officers that come to Blytheville to get trained and then shortly thereafter leave for better paying jobs elsewhere. They also say that it will encourage advancement through the ranks, thereby increasing the experience and talent of the overall department.

To my knowledge, no one has argued that the department is short of equipment such as weapons, cars, vests, and etcetera. At least no one has asked for any in the committee meetings that I have been to despite council members asking if they did.

Now, from what I can see, the Blytheville Police Department is set up for success. Now, if B.P.D. does not dramatically knock down the crime rate in the city, the only resource left to examine is the people involved.

We the people will no longer tolerate a crime rate similar to metropolises such as Memphis or Detroit – that is just ridiculous. We the people will no longer tolerate having a city where we have to barricade ourselves in at night for fear of being killed or robbed. We the people will no longer tolerate Blytheville being a hub in the Mexican Ice epidemic, or any other drug for that matter. We the people will no longer tolerate our businesses being terrorized or robbed at gunpoint.

We the people are tired of rhetoric, spin, campaign promises and general overall bull. We the people have decided to take our city back and we will do it with or without those in charge at the moment!

Also Chief Thompson, I call upon you to submit your future department budgets with the number of officers that you need in order to accomplish the job. If the city council or mayor wants that number cut, then make them cut it…ON THE RECORD so that they will have to explain how they can declare that we need more officers for the Public Safety Tax election and then say we need to cut them out (there were 58 officers in 2004) when talking about the city budget. Stand your ground.

Lastly, this tax was very difficult for a lot of us to swallow. City leaders heed this warning – do not cut one dime of money that was previously going into the department from general funds or the previously passed so-called “police and fire tax”. The new Public Safety Tax is to supplement what was already there.

We the people love and appreciate our police officers, but we are not blind or stupid and we are maxed out on our taxes and patience. We the people own this city and we demand a change. So, we the people will be watching.

About Tom Henry 133 Articles

My Biography

I have been fortunate to have held a number of very interesting and diverse jobs over the years. Those jobs have ranged from being a newspaper reporter (twice), restaurant and retail single unit store manager (numerous), restaurant multi-unit manager, a Christian bookstore manager, an online hospitality management recruiter and pastor. I have been used numerous times to turn troubled stores into profitable stores with double digit increases in sales and national top ten rankings (multiple times). God has gifted me with talents, experiences and spiritual gifting that allows me to get “right to the root of the problem” very quickly.

Additionally, I have three college degrees including a Master of Arts in history from Arkansas State University in Jonesboro and Arkansas Northeastern College in Blytheville.

I spend all of my non-work time with the sweetest woman I’ve ever met, Carol. Together we have four children (ranging in age from 19 to 25). She is without a doubt the answer to many years of fervent prayer. I have never been happier than I am now.

In my free time, I enjoy writing, reading, traveling (especially to historic/civil war sites), learning, intellectual discussion and singing/deejaying. Carol and I live an hour north of Memphis and love to go “walking in Memphis, ten feet off of Beale”.

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