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Community Policing Forum

Dear editor:

The Difference Makers of Hot Springs is inviting the community to tune into the Community Policing Forum -- The Talk, which will be a virtual event on Facebook Live.

In this time of COVID-19 social distancing and regulations, we felt this subject was one that needed to be addressed in light of the current conditions of social norm. Our esteemed panel of Hot Springs city and Garland County community leaders will comprise this table discussion. Members include County Judge Darryl Mahoney, Hot Springs City Manager Bill Burrough, Garland County Sheriff Mike McCormick, Hot Springs City Police Chief Chris Chapmond, Hot Springs School District Superintendent Stephanie Nehus, Ouachita Behavioral Health and Wellness CEO Rob Gershon, and community advocate Mr. Elmer Beard. Guest moderators will include Dr. Brian Gittens, vice chancellor, and Mrs. Amber Booth-McCoy, senior diversity specialist, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Division for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

Community Policing is a strategy that focuses on building trust between citizens and law enforcement through mutual understanding and collaboration. These community policing programs are also meant to encourage partnerships between local police and first response teams, local government, nonprofits, organizations, small business, and most importantly the citizens. In towns and cities across the country, community policing is becoming a crucial commonplace practice.

The Talk -- Community Policing Forum will take place virtually on Tuesday at 6 p.m. and will be carried live on Difference Makers of Hot Springs Facebook page and other media outlets. During the live forum, viewers are welcome to submit questions through the comments section of the Community Policing Forum's Facebook livestream, in which some of the questions will be shared and discussed during the live forum, time permitting.

Please tune in and share the event with your Facebook friends. The Difference Makers thanks you, the community of Hot Springs, for supporting our efforts.

The Rev. Willie Wade Jr.

Founder/president

Difference Makers of Hot Springs

Where is common sense?

Dear editor:

A few weeks ago, I read that Hot Springs wanted to invite visitors to our town again. I also read where a visitor came to Hot Springs to do so. After cruising downtown she noticed only a handful were wearing masks. Apparently they also weren't doing social distancing. The streets were full. They canceled their reservations and went back home.

I don't blame them one bit! However, has anyone noticed the cases of coronavirus have gone up every since this started? Does anyone have common sense anymore?

Yes, our number was low. Now every day there are new cases. If Garland County insists on inviting out-of-town people here, the least they can do is have signs out all over town that masks and social distancing are mandatory on the streets everywhere. I want this to be over. Until people take responsibility, our numbers will go higher and higher and make me stay home longer and longer.

Phyllis Summitt

Hot Springs

USPS a 'right'

Dear editor:

In response to Edward K. Perry's letter today I'm forced to set the record straight. The USPS is a constitutional right for We The People to have access to the important and necessary actions by and for the country. He claims to be a Republican so I'll have to play the political card although it galls me. No one has wanted to privatize the USPS except the GOP. He cites FedEx and UPS as having to struggle against a federally funded postal service. If these two companies, due to weather or other unforeseen circumstances cannot or decide not to deliver they give it to the USPS to do their deliveries for them. The USPS has no excuses other than the most extreme circumstances must deliver your mail.

The USPS was doing quite well delivering mail around the world for less than 50 cents. The Republicans decided that the retirement fund for retiring employees must be funded 50 years into the future. No company is expected to do that. It did exactly what they wanted to happen. It put a strain on meeting the payroll for its current employees for 50 cents per letter. The GOP has wanted to get control of the USPS ever since they came to be a reckoning force in politics. They cannot let a well run business go uncontrolled and turned into a profit-based entity. Edward is right, government is not efficient. It's run by people like him who want their voice to be heard along with everyone else in America. It's not a corporation where all you have to do is fire at will and close departments that are not profitable. If he thinks privatizing USPS will be an improvement let me remind him it was the government that bailed out GM and Chrysler when they almost went belly up.

Judy Ladd

Hot Springs

An 'American treasure'

Dear editor:

He believed every human being could be a shining light. He believed every human being, no matter their gender, skin color, ethnicity or sexual preference are created equal, and in the image of God deserving dignity and well-being. He motivated us to listen to the whispers of our hearts in order to discover ultimate truth and then to follow its direction and do what is just and to never hate. He never stopped telling us to love, to have peace in our hearts even when he was cruelly beaten and abused, he never ceased encouraging us to also stand up and speak out when it's our time to act and to not be afraid to speak out against injustice and hatred and to never let an evil force diminish their light.

He believed in the peaceful protests currently happening across America bringing attention to social structures that need to be torn down. He believed the fight in the streets by the present generation is the awakening to the reality of systemic racism and injustice and that now is the time to make it right. Racism and gun safety are just two of the issues that John Lewis has fought for decades seeing it come to the forefront many times only to be swept under the rug and forgotten until the next heart-rending tragedy occurs. Once again, at age 80, he was out on the streets shoulder to shoulder in front leading the present generation, actuality doing something about injustice and exploitative capitalist racists demanding cultural change and doing this while dying from pancreatic cancer.

We have lost an American treasure. On July 18, John Lewis died. I personally feel a great sense of loss. He was celebrated as the conscience of the Congress spending a lifetime of public service fighting for fairness, the right to vote and justice for all. He believed that good always overcame evil. John Lewis never gave up his optimism that we have the capacity for change. Today there is an army ready to fight John's battle. Let us join them by supporting the present generation in the fight. John repeatedly risked his life in battle for justice for all. No matter our age we have a choice. Do we stand by passively and allow this moment of social change to fade away or do we stand up demanding action from our political leaders?

How many decades have we sought racial justice? How many lives have been lost? Let us not lose Martin Luther Kings' dream, let's not lose John Lewis' hope. The conscience of the "United States Congress" is gone, his legacy remains -- "the man who never gave up for a better tomorrow."

George Lindholm

Hot Springs Village

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