No matter where I go personally in the Valley, asking questions regarding how “I” need to respond to things, for me, always leads to response, “Oh yeah, Scottsdale.”
Since 2006, I have heard this regarding neighborhoods and neighborhood safety, housing and the education and welfare of Scottsdale children, especially minority kids, and the health and welfare of Scottsdale’s senior citizens.
A lot of folks know me from my involvement with Scottsdale P.D. and the Scottsdale Unified School District on issues of gangs and youth violence, neighborhood safety, and school safety.
Every officer was open to my, sometimes-off-the-wall questions, and they will be happy to know that Mayor Drinkwater and Chief Gannon and City Manager Bowers saw fit to send me along to some of the conferences and presentations for police officers so I knew what was going on and to get the heck out of the way so that they could do their jobs.
They were committed to community policing and I was lucky enough to be there when they did. That was after an officer I was riding with parked the patrol car with my door too close to a wall for me to open the door and we were there because of a bomb threat. And he was evacuating the people in the building to a spot across the street.
No matter who you are stress plays a part in how one responds. He was doing his job. I was not included in the primary purpose. To be honest I laughed and the building did not blow, so I can still laugh today.
I do wish some folks would learn the difference between politics and governance and to make sure that those we hire with specific expertise have all the necessary tools in the basket to do the best job for Scottsdale’s people, residents and guests. Not just for PD, though they are the first body required to be in effect, by the Arizona Constitution for a city to become incorporated.
That responsibility is stated in the document that those in elected and appointed public office are required to repeat, in public, to affirm their understanding of the position they have been allowed to hold in service to the community. And, yes, every police officer takes that oath, too.
Get to know your city. Serve on boards and commissions and ask questions. Do not assume you know everything about your home town or the people elected to office. After all those people are just people. The mess we are in as a country, politically and governmentally, means the people seriously slipped up doing their job.
There will be more on the “Oh. Yeah, Scottsdale,” comments.
Editor’s Note: Nancy Cantor is a 45-year resident of Scottsdale and community advocate.
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