Geoffrey Hoy: Get involved, be part of the solution

Published 12:00 am Sunday, July 10, 2016

By Geoffrey Hoy

Special to the Post

raise my voice, joining with thousands of others, in anger, grief, rage, and some fear, in response to the events in Baton Rouge, St. Paul, and Dallas. Yes, black lives matter and blue lives matter. The trust issues we share belong to all of us as Americans.

Beyond the emotional responses, however, is the need for improvements in our systems of justice and public safety. Police need our support as they answer our calls for help at risk to themselves. There needs to be a process to weed out the “worst” who are not fit to “serve and protect.” It is also necessary to hire and train all the rest of the police force to be the “best of the best” for all of us in every neighborhood.

I say welcome to the new Salisbury Chief of Police. I look forward to meeting with him, along with other community leaders, to meet the challenges of our community at this time.

There are no simple, easy solutions to improve our lives together. Improvements are needed in: (1) listening to and understanding widely divergent experiences, (2) citizen involvement in community policing, (3) greater voter participation in elections, (4)more government leaders involved in oversight of public safety, (5) policies which improve our systems of education and (6) job creation. We know the agenda. It takes people willing to take the risks of involvement, possibly making some mistakes along the way.

In our passion to improve in all these areas, let’s remember there is room for all of us to become involved in different ways. and, in the process we need to remember that poverty is the main enemy, not each other!

The impetus to speak out comes from the most recent shootings and there is a long history behind such events. I share some of those feelings personally. I was shot by a law enforcement officer 44 years ago in Chicago.

The future lies ahead of us. Let’s march forward in Hope, working together!

Geoffrey Hoy is chairperson of the Rowan County Democratic Party.