As a trustee for the Village of Sand Lake, I support our Police Chief and officers. Although I cannot express each trustee’s feelings here, I can say that, as a council, we support our police. Their job is difficult, and with so much public scrutiny of law enforcement nationally, it seems like every action a police officer takes is questioned. We believe we have good police officers who enforce the law.
The Village’s Zoning Administrator has told the Police Chief that he needs to leave, which is an overreach of his authority. The Village President and Council have the authority over the Police Department. The Zoning Administrator has made an issue of the Police Chief’s “theology,” making a mistaken assumption about which religious denomination the Chief belonged to, and that eventually led to a question about whether the Chief was “a sinner.” These are civil rights issues.
To be told to ignore the law and walk away, as our Zoning Administrator directed our Police Chief, betrays the public’s trust that police are here to protect people by enforcing the law. The police are sworn to uphold the law, and so is the Village Council and other Village officials, including the Zoning Administrator. By ignoring laws and putting “blinders on,” as the Zoning Administrator says, the police and Village officials would be no better than the people who break the laws.
The Zoning Administrator’s attack on the Police Chief, his officers, and the Village Council, in his letter to the Post (11/12/15—What is going on in Sand Lake?) is unjustified. As a Council, we cannot terminate the Chief’s employment, ask him to resign or retire because he is guilty of enforcing laws, nor can we make an issue of his “theology,” which was never a consideration for his employment or a condition of his job.
The Zoning Administrator said in the Post Scripts that rumors and personal conflicts are the strength of the community. I think that cooperation and collaboration make a stronger community. When police, residents, and businesses cooperate and collaborate, everyone wins. When laws are not enforced, we all lose.
David R. Dewey, Sand Lake Village trustee