Policing and posting

On the Belfast Police Department’s website, it says the department’s mission is “… to deliver police services in an innovative, professional and compassionate manner.”  So I was disappointed, astonished, angered, and deeply saddened to read the May 2 post on Belfast Police Department’s Facebook page that said, “Here at Belfast Police Department we have seen some crafty ways of hiding from the police. This unfortunately is not one of them.” It was accompanied by a photo of a person sitting in a chair in front of a motel room door (presumably), and fully covered by a blanket. Ha ha. Very funny.

Really? How is it possible that the officer’s first instinct in this situation was to take out his cell phone and take a picture?  The posting was later updated to report that the person — now named — had been kicked out of the motel for “drunk & disorderly,” and was arrested. It did not mention if any attempt had been made to get support from local mental health professionals, though the named person is known to have a mental health diagnosis.

Over the years, the department’s Facebook page has been used as a constructive tool for disseminating information to the community, reuniting pets and their people, and plenty of good humor, too. I am concerned, however, that — unchecked — it stands to become a clearinghouse for thoughtless and, in my opinion, unethical treatment of some members of our community.

The posting officer had an opportunity to shine a light on mental health and/or substance abuse issues in our area, but chose a cheap shot at a citizen’s expense. A cheap shot that was then picked up and further distributed — around the country (Miami Herald, Officer.com, and more).

Surely I don’t have all the facts, so I stopped in at the Belfast Police Department on Tuesday morning (May 3) to speak with someone about it. My name and number were taken, and I was assured I’d get a call back.  Ten days later … still nothing.

We have a relatively young force right now, and no chief, but that is no excuse. I appreciate that the job of policing is not easy, but frankly, I expect better from our police officers, and I hope you do, too. In fact, I expect them to work in accordance with the stated mission of the department: innovation, professionalism, and compassion.

A good place to begin would be with some coaching on appropriate uses of social media in policing.

Su Wood

Belfast

Think hard before you vote on May 25

Concerning the debate over the proposed pier on the shore of Lincolnville within a half-mile of the ferry slip, let me start off by stating that I lean neither to the right or to the left. As for the construction of this pier, I am neither for nor against its erection.

What I am concerned about is that a handful of people will push the town to impose a moratorium and then devise ordinances that can and will affect all landowners in Lincolnville. At the special town meeting on May 25 we will be asked to vote on a proposed moratorium on pier construction in Lincolnville. Note that May 25 is the meeting where we vote on the school budget, NOT the annual town meeting (in June) where we conduct the rest of the town business.

People, don’t be fooled by Chicken Little story that “The sky is falling!” Why don’t people just talk about what really motivates them, which is, “I don’t want this in my back yard!” If the Army Corps of Engineers and DEP biologists don’t agree with the way I think, let’s fire them or get a ruling to stop this! Again, it’s “not in my backyard”! Let’s let the state and federal oversight agencies do their job according to the rules and guidelines they have set forth in front of them.

In the 1800s there were multiple piers and wharves up and down the mid-coast area. Look at all the destruction they caused! The NIMBY groups of 1800s fought against them, right? Wrong! Find me some evidence of that! People stayed on their own property and left other people alone. If they didn’t like what their neighbors were doing, perhaps they made an offer for their neighbors’ land!

So, my message to Lincolnville voters is, think hard about what the long-range outcome might be before you vote on May 25. Really try to use something in short supply these days: common sense.

Be careful how you vote — and most of all, vote!

Rosey Gerry

Lincolnville

Moratorium necessary to the process

I lived here for part of my youth, left to explore the  options, now have returned hopefully for the  rest of my life.

I consider Maine and especially  the Midcoast the best place in the world to live.

There have been a lot of changes over the years. Time was spent considering the  consequences, tossing ideas back and forth, and a “yes” or “no” vote.

I believe a 180-day moratorium is necessary for this process to take place. On May 25  at 6 p.m. at the  Lincolnville Central School, a town meeting will be held to discuss this as well as other issues affecting Lincolnville.

Wendy  Guinon 

Lincolnville