Law enforcement deserve our thanks

Law enforcement deserve our thanks

The senseless death of Highlands County Sheriff’s Deputy William Gentry struck close to home and we are reminded how dangerous it can be protecting our citizens. Law enforcement is thankless, hazardous work that we sometimes take for granted. Local and federal officers and agents live day to day, never sure what awaits them. Any measure that allows for salary and benefit increases for these men and women has my support.

Likewise, those who belittle or insult police personnel or FBI enforcers obviously haven’t a clue what life might be like without them.

The living deserve our respect. The fallen deserve our gratitude and remembrance. I send a personal thanks to our local and federal protectors.

On the 20th of February I attended a School Board meeting. On the agenda was the question of implementing Rule 3.60, which would have gone into the Student Handbook. Rule 3.60 says, “A student does not have to stand for the pledge or put his/her hand over their heart.” Written permission would be required from the parents.

As a veteran (there were several more veterans present) I spoke to the board and said the rule was an abomination and an insult to the approximate 22,000 veterans in this county. We are now into the second generation of people that don’t have to lift a finger to defend this country and rule 3.60 would be taking that disrespect right down to the first grade. Any parent that would give their permission for their kids to sit on their butts would probably be a parent who has never served the country in any capacity and would contribute to the slide of disrespect for the flag and those that defend it, that we see in this country.

Political correctness aside, 1st amendment right, etc., etc., freedom is neither cheap nor free. We have 1.2 million volunteers that protect us and they don’t need rules like 3.60 in student handbooks. However all is not lost as the May 18 edition of the Highlands News-Sun had a front page story of fifth-graders at Lake County Elementary School in Lake Placid having a class in Flag Protocol given by two retired military officers and four cadets from the Lake Placid High School ROTC. This was encouraging to know someone is trying to instill a respect for our flag and nation.

The bad news however is this is the only school in the county doing such a class. It is hoped that more schools will pick up on the lesson and we could not agree more. Hats off to those fifth-graders. As a final note I confirmed with the School Board that no vote was taken at the meeting to implement rule 3.60, so it is still a no go. Let’s hope it stays that way.

This is an open letter to the law enforcement agencies in Highlands County, Florida:

Why is it that none of the agencies in Highlands County enforce Florida Statute 316.217(1)(b)? For those who do not know what this statute is, Florida Statute §316.217(1)(b) actually states that “Every vehicle operated upon a highway within this state shall display lighted lamps and illuminating devices … under the following conditions: … During any rain, smoke or fog …”

Rain. When you turn on your windshield wipers, turn on your headlights. Do not turn on emergency flashers.

This appears to be a problem throughout Florida and maybe when law enforcement starts enforcing the headlights during rain and issuing citations, people will start obeying the law.

This article provided by NewsEdge.