On Saturday, Jan. 17, around 2 a.m., I heard the sound of police sirens.
I thought to myself, “What has happened now?”
The increased sounds of police sirens are the result of our 15th District commander, Barbara West, being removed from our district (as reported by the Austin Weekly News), where she had worked so diligently with the community.
I’m angry about this because all the efforts that have been made for a sustainable community have been disrupted. The head of the police department had made this smart decision to uproot not only the commander in the 15th District but the 25th as well.
You may ask why am I angry; it’s because our communities are the only communities that are neglected and mistreated, and we allow it.
We have sitting elected officials, and not one has come forth to say we are not having it. We have clergy who are very vocal in the community, yet not one has stepped forward and asked why.
Where is the respect, and when will we feel the need to demand the respect for our community?
There are NO funds designated for our community; officials take funds out of our community and send that money to other communities to build them up; meanwhile, we continue on with our daily schedule like we don’t see the deterioration of our community.
Then when election time comes, elected officials stand up and say how much they have contributed or changed our community for the better. You run on your record, toot your horn, but that is a bunch of crock.
How much more do we need to see or go through before we understand that something needs to be done?
The number of burglaries and robberies has picked up; criminals sense the commanders have been removed. You no longer see cars patrolling the area, just open season, and the criminals have been given a hall pass. Our seniors who had started to feel safe now have to retreat back inside again.
Why wasn’t the community notified about Commander West being reassigned, and why was it so quietly done? Who is willing to ask that question, and will we get an answer?
Well, I’m asking, and we need an answer. Disrespect is the message you’re send our community.
You keep your suburban commanders in place to make sure there is continued progress, but you uproot ours all the while sending a message: “let the mayhem begin.”
You sit in your cozy office and say behind closed doors, “We can do what we want because they will allow it.”
To a point, I would have to agree: there are only a handful of us who say this is not acceptable, and some who just don’t care.
Why do we go along with situations that are not beneficial to our community?
It’s time to put an end to our community suffering by the hands of people who say they care.
The individuals who claim they represent the community are only worried about what they will lose. Please know this is not personal, this is business. Enough is enough.
We have a right to feel safe and to see our community blossom into something great.
We deserve to have a safe community, a community that is respected and not neglected. Every resident needs to let their voice be heard; we can no longer accept being disrespected.
We need to hold all decision makers accountable for the deterioration of our community and the lack of respect. No more words!
We need to see the evidence of your actions. Get to work! You are blocking progress.
We need to move forward.
Submitted to austintalks.org
—Renna Thomas, Austin