“There is no greatness where there is not simplicity, goodness, and truth,” wrote Russian author Leo Tolstoy. In a post election world where there is acrimony, suspicion, hostility, and falsehoods, this commentary seems to be particularly appropriate. Which is why it’s particularly heartening to bring you our feature on the Paducah Police Department in this first 2017 issue of PADUCAH LIFE Magazine.
James Fallows, writer for The Atlantic magazine, recently commented that “the heartland rage theory misses the optimism and determination that are intertwined with desolation and decay in the real ‘out there.’ I’ve been ‘out there’ reporting on small-town America for the past four years. And in places like Erie, PA, with a landscape of abandoned factory buildings and a generation of laid-off workers, there is an active civic reform attitude, led by people in their 20s and 30s who believe they can create new businesses for themselves and new life for their town.”
He goes on to cite a study by Pew Research in 2014 that found only 25 percent of respondents were satisfied with the direction of national policy but 60 percent were satisfied with events in their own communities.
I truly believe in cities all across the country including that of our very own Paducah, you will find at the level where people’s judgments are based on direct observation rather than media-fueled fear, we still trust democratic processes and observe long-respected norms. Most of us still manage to compromise, innovate, and make hard decisions in a conscientious, collaborative way. A case in point is our highly respected and award-winning Paducah Police Department.
Within the confines of a daunting responsibility, and often among criticism and recriminations, this group of men and women represent the best of what a community should be. As you will read, this organization is the very embodiment of an optimism that each of us as citizens should well adopt. It’s a cohesive group of individual members who foster mutual respect, seek out and identify ways in which to improve civil discourse, embrace the differences among us, and create ways to bridge the gaps that often divide.
It is truly our privilege to lift up the devoted professionals of the Paducah Police force in this special edition. LIFE is most assuredly stronger and safer in Paducah because of the dedication and integrity of these honorable men and women.