|Has Joplin found its voice? That would be the best thing that's come out of the controversy surrounding the conduct of the two police officers who acted outside of department regulations.
If the Joplin Police Department publicly had announced an appropriate punishment for the officers involved, then it would be suffering less condemnation, but that wouldn't necessarily be the end of the controversy. A pat on the hand in these circumstances would not be satisfactory.
We support the Joplin Globe for leading the community chant and hope that the comments that the newspaper is posting are more than just a "rah, rah" response to today's news. People need to speak out on every issue that concerns them. They shouldn't be intimidated by those who seem to be wielding intractable power.
This concept must terrify the members of the Joplin City Council. They have been accused of having huge egos, of being blind to the wishes of the constituents who put them in charge.
The ego thing is understandable. Why else would they take on a job that pays so little and offers them so little thanks. However, they must within reason serve the will of the people. Too often they have been overheard mocking the very people who put them in office.
When Councilman Guy Palmieri at the May 16, 2005 council meeting said that the police were there to "protect us from the lowlifes of our community," hopefully, he also wasn't referring to those citizens who might disagree with him.
Why aren't we shouting louder about the police controversy? Barring a similar situation, we think the matter pales in comparison to decisions that put everyone's quality of life on a back seat to promoting big business. We hope people will find their voice regarding these issues as well.