Editorial: APD Chief, Mark Scott – 12-17-16

Published 3:33 pm Saturday, December 17, 2016

A local publication recently chose to print an anonymous posting which was filled with profanity and the vilest hate and poison imaginable. How this publication reconciles publishing cute pictures on one page to entice children to read and then publishing profanity on another is a mystery. There have also been a handful of individuals who have sought to use our pain and grief as a platform to spew their hateful rhetoric. The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees the freedom of the American press, but just because hate speech can be printed, does not mean that it should be printed. The Americus Police Department will defend the constitutional rights of the citizens of Americus, but we will not be party to the destruction of the community that we have worked hard to build and that Ofc. Nicholas Smarr lost his life protecting. Such empty rhetoric dishonors his memory.
My message to the citizens of Americus is this. We will not be deterred. We will not be afraid.  We will not give in to hate or bitterness. We will not be defined by those who would seek to drag us down. We will rise above and we will come together as a community. With God’s grace, we will stand as one and conquer hate with love, and evil with righteousness. We are Americus, Georgia. We will honor our fallen brothers and show respect to all of the families devastated by this senseless tragedy. We will make a difference, and we will bring an end to the senseless violence that threatens our families and our society as a whole. Rest assured, we will identify those individuals who are threatening the safety of the citizens we are sworn to protect and we will prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law.

Mark A. Scott
Chief of Police