Dan Wehmer - Publisher's Pen

Dan Wehmer - Publisher's Pen

In recent weeks, it appears there is a theory flying around Seymour that the city’s police force is overstaffed.

Some say Seymour doesn’t need six officers.

Some say Seymour doesn’t need two officers, floating the idea that our 2,000-resident city should operate like the television community of Mayberry, circa “The Andy Griffith Show,” where Police Chief Bob Paudert could get by just fine with a single officer.

That idea is insane.

Sort of like the idea that Seymour’s police force doesn’t need an investigator.

Sort of like the idea that the primary duty of the local blue is to drive aimlessly around town while waving and smiling big at passing motorists and sidewalk strollers.

Should they also throw candy daily?

And kiss babies?

We could even hire an “Aunt Bea.”

Folks, this isn’t 1955.

Mayberry didn’t have meth.

Frankly, Mayberry wasn’t real.

And these ideas that Seymour’s police force should focus on clean-shaven faces and perfectly pressed uniforms are silly. It’s the definition of not seeing the forest for the trees.

Last Thursday, our local force of six was busy from sunrise to sunset and beyond, putting out a wide variety of fires, ranging from lunatics who needed a ride to a mental facility to raiding a drug house on the west side of town, which resulted in six arrests.

There was a common denominator.

Drugs.

Specifically, methamphetamine.

It’s rampant here. It’s rampant everywhere.

Use isn’t on the decline. It’s on the rise.

We don’t have enough prison beds to hold the offenders.

In turn, these drugged-out people, ranging in age from teens to senior citizens, both male and female, are on our streets, often with little to do other than use drugs.

To fund the exercise, they engage in illegal activities.

They steal from businesses.

They rob homes.

When that doesn’t work, they assault others who do have the money or property they need to buy their drugs.

In Seymour, we have six officers to defend you from these bad people.

Six.

Half a dozen.

Protecting 2,000 souls.

And there are people who want to reduce this number?

If that occurred, the end result would be additional crime in the city of Seymour. That’s common sense.

Regarding last Thursday, Seymour’s police, with assistance from deputies in Douglas and Webster counties, found large amounts of meth when they served a warrant on a Rhodes Street trailer. Inside the trailer were three people with arrest warrants — none from Seymour.

One was a sex offender the state didn’t know was using our city as his new home.

Two others are past violent offenders.

Without a full force able to offer 24-hour police protection, those arrests aren’t made.

Instead, it’s business as usual over on Rhodes Street.

The business of drugs.

And crime.

And who knows what else.

Before you buy into the theory that Seymour needs fewer law-enforcement officers, think about the consequences.

Would you like these bad people in your home?

If we don’t have an adequate police force, they’ll be over for a visit.

Without an invite.

* * * * * *

Reading time, two minutes:

• Free 502 Rhodes Street. It’s ironic how three years ago, the Seymour Planning & Zoning Commission advised against allowing a trailer to be set up at this location. City aldermen acted against the P&Z’s wishes. Fast forward to the present, and Seymour’s police served a warrant at the home last Thursday, which resulted in arrests of six people, all for drug-related offenses. Too bad the clock can’t be rewound.

• Speaking of the local police, last week there was a rampant rumor circulating that a Seymour officer was allowing his girlfriend to drive his cruiser while on duty. The alleged crisis made its way through the coffee shops to city officials. It was investigated. The result? Zero truth to the rumor. It didn’t happen. If you hear the tale told, dismiss the story as a false one. It’s Seymour’s version of “fake news.”

• Courtesy of the Missouri State High School Activities Association (MSHSAA), we learned last week that Seymour High School’s Tiger mascot is the most popular among the state’s members. Per MSHSAA, 64 schools have Tigers as their mascot. Second is Eagles with 55. The rest of the top 10 includes: Bulldogs 48, Wildcats 32, Panthers 26, Indians 23, Cardinals 18, Lions 18, Hornets 17 and Pirates 16.

• From the high-school scholarship front, the Se-Ma-No Electric Cooperative announced last week that it will award several $1,000 college scholarships this spring. Eligible are all students in the Se-Ma-No coverage area, which ranges from Diggins in the east to Norwood in the west. You can go to the Se-Ma-No website to see a map of the cooperative’s coverage area. Applications now are available at the Se-Ma-No office on North Highway 5 in Mansfield. The deadline to apply is Tuesday, March 3.

• Looking for evening entertainment this week? If so, visit the Seymour High School gymnasium this Thursday, Friday and Saturday as The Seymour Bank Winter Classic holds its final two rounds of action. Seymour’s varsity and junior-varsity teams are competing. So are teams from six other schools. With your support, our Tiger teams could win both titles.

Dan Wehmer is the Citizen’s editor, publisher and owner. He can be reached at 417-935-2257 or via e-mail at citizen@webstercountycitizen.com.

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