We are in the season of Thanksgiving and I like to take this time every year to reflect on all the things in my life for which I am so very thankful. During this year of 2020 marked by so much sickness, stress, natural disasters, division and too many other troubles to name, I think we should all take a moment to look around us and find those things that truly make us thankful. I am always looking for little moments that make me stop and say thank you.
Before The Gazette prints, we are often at the office very late and it is dark and mostly quiet as we are leaving. However, more often than not, we wave at a Union Parish Sheriff on patrol as we are making our way to our vehicles. It always makes me whisper a prayer of thanks that the Union Parish Sheriff’s officers are always there when we need them.
Our men and women in blue have suffered greatly during this troubled year. However, I know that the men and women of the UPSO have always been professional, fair and do everything in their power to keep the citizens of Union Parish safe and insure peacefulness for all.
Have you heard about the SCU here in Union Parish? This is a Street Crimes Unit put in force by the UPSO. This is a special unit designed to combat drugs, street crimes and other felony crimes. We should all be thankful that this unit is hard at work. In the past few months they have made 207 vehicle stops, issued 31 traffic citations, made 51 arrests and summons including felonies, 12 felony/misdemeanor warrants served and numerous sex offender checks. These statistics alone should make us so thankful that we have men and women willing to put their own lives at risk in order to protect yours and mine. I shudder to think what our streets would look like without the UPSO.
It is now our time to help them in return. On December 5, the Union Parish Sheriff’s office is asking for our vote in support of the renewal of a one-cent sales tax. This is NOT a new tax. It is for a renewal only. This tax has been supported by the citizens of Union Parish for the past 20 years and generates over half the total operating budget of our sheriff’s office.
2020 has shown us all a glimpse of what our world could look like. People are divided and there seems to be a huge up swing in violence, lawlessness and lack of respect for one another. Thankfully, Union Parish has so far not followed in that direction. However, watching the rest of our country suffer, should make us even more appreciative of our law enforcement officers and their efforts to keep Union Parish a wonderful place to live, work, and enjoy life. This is why renewing this small tax is so critical to our way of life and to the future our children and grandchildren will have here in Union Parish.
On December 5, let’s show UPSO just how thankful we are for their bravery, protection and service. Vote yes to renew the sales tax and in so doing, renew our vision for the Union Parish we all love and support.
Charlette Madden is a Mother of 2, a Louisiana Tech graduate and serves as Editor and Advertising Director for The Gazette. Contact her via email at firstname.lastname@example.org