By Matthew Breazeale
It should be no surprise for Durant residents of all the unrest there has been in town.
Two Durant police officers are now out of a job and the city is left just a little more vulnerable.
I thought to myself last Wednesday night after the board's motion was made to terminate Officers Duane Montgomery and Patrick Mitchell 'Is the city really better off?'"
Durant is now down two police officers and I wouldn't anticipate a long line of qualified applicants busting down the door to city hall in order to apply.
I have no doubt that these terminations will now have an effect on response time with the remaining police officers.
Residents calling in an emergency to the police are likely now to wait over 30 minutes in some cases before a Durant officer shows up at their door, if that wasn't already the case.
With less officers on the force, I wonder if residents will expect more for less?
Officers still have to patrol traffic, homes, businesses, respond to calls and deal with residents’ individual issues.
We can expect, for now, quality to suffer for lack of quantity.
Those who advocated for the firings cried out in joyous voice Wednesday night.
A quote by Sir Francis Bacon reads "Cure the disease and kill the patient."
Being a Durant resident myself I certainly do not feel safer with less police patrolling the streets.
The city will now have to maintain law and order with eight officers instead of ten until at least June 7 and that's only if they are certified applicants.
The loss of a young man like Roderick Thomas is tragic no matter how it's spun, especially in Durant with many young people aimed at leaving the city.
Both Durant residents and officials should think on the direction their city is headed if no one will champion for the city in the future.
In a perfect world, parents would know where their children were at all times, who they were with and what they were doing.
Not in an effort to smother them but for their well being and, in some cases, the well being of others. It's certainly not any school's responsibility for "home training."
In a perfect world opportunities are made available by those who have power and control resources.
School-aged children and young adults would be involved with their city or county through peer tutoring, volunteer projects, sports leagues and community education if made available.
Just ask the Ballards at Wayword Ministries in Durant.
On one hand parents should rear children (and some parents need this lesson too) to know excessive drinking, partying and impulsive behavior is not reputable to themselves, their family or the town they reside.
And on the other hand, of course, if all there is to do in the area is go to the local bar or club, drink oneself into a stupor and then get behind the wheel of a car to drive around all hours of the night, what can you expect?
So, where is the happy medium?
Listening to the words of Corneisha Bush last Wednesday night while she addressed board members on struggling to find a reason to be proud of her town, I thought back to when I was 18 living in Durant and feeling guilty for hating where I lived.
I didn't want to hate the town where my family lived but it was an uphill battle to find a reason not to.
Sometimes you just end up being a slave to your emotions, as might have been the case with those seeking 'Justice for Rod.'
Matthew Breazeale is a staff writer for The Star Herald.