Letter: Rebecca Reeder, Leesburg

Editor: Last October, the majority of the Leesburg Town Council voted to enforce the vaccine mandate for government employees and subsequently seven Leesburg Police Officers were terminated in one form or another from the already depleted work force. 

In my opinion, the risk they presented to the public, with routine testing was miniscule. More recently, only two councilwomen, Suzanne Fox and Kari Nacy, voted to reinstate these officers [under established hiring procedures], but this motion also was denied by the majority. Mere replacement hiring is insufficient to meet the high number of staff vacancies, currently at 21 positions, per Chief Gregory Brown’s May 22 presentation.

And now we are once again reminded of the reality of protecting our children each day by on-site armed law enforcement officers following the heart wrenching tragedy in Uvalde, Texas, this week. There are 19 parents of deceased children who are now picking out coffins for the imminent funeral services. Even though the distance is substantial, the Town of Leesburg is not immune to violent crime, as evidenced by two homicides in the month of April alone, by two young men who were arrested and charged for the deaths. It is my firm belief that due to the diligent and conscientious Leesburg Police force, not forgetting most notably the School Resource Officers dedicated to serve within our schools, who exemplify how blessed we are that our children continue to remain safe in the classroom and elsewhere.

In the weeks and months ahead, I ask for full support and appropriate action by the Mayor and Town Council members to reconsider the importance of reinstating, if possible and available, the highly trained, educated and experienced Leesburg Police officers who were terminated for insufficient reason in these increasing dangerous times. May the additional staffing now and for future school terms result in more on-site School Resource Officers as well as officers on patrol to prevent and/or respond to meet the critical safety needs of teachers and children within our schools and community each day.

Rebecca Reeder, Leesburg

6 thoughts on “Letter: Rebecca Reeder, Leesburg

  • 2022-05-26 at 8:56 pm

    The answer to gun violence isn’t more guns. According to press reports, there were multiple police officers at Robb School who delayed going inside. Ladies urged them to storm the school, to no avail. Instead, we must stop the proliferation of guns. Don’t let them get into the wrong hands. As JFK said 60 years ago, problems are man-made. Thus, they can be solved by men & women. May the poor souls of Uvalde, Texas, Rest in Peace.

    • 2022-05-31 at 11:08 am

      How do you propose to do this? I know your answer… ban them. That will only put more guns in the hands of criminals and take more away from those who have a constitutionally protected right to own them. The answer in nearly all of these recent mass shootings lies in the fact that multiple EXISTING laws were violated to get there, including passing a background check that should not have been passed because somehow the data that would have delayed or blocked the legal purchase was never in the system. Why are we not investigating the government agencies’ failures to input the data? Some of the missing data have resolution conflicts, and the only people who can resolve those conflicts are legislatures… yet they won’t do that because it means actually figuring out what they did wrong in the laws they previously passed and actually having to admit that they screwed up.

  • 2022-05-26 at 9:55 pm

    I disagreed with the terminations not just for the officers but any employee that offered to take weekly tests as an alternative.

    With that said I do not support their rehire. I can not support officers who refuse to follow the rules. Add to that the possibility that some are disgruntled and will now be problem employees.

    Finally I can imagine these offers are not working elsewhere and even interested in returning.

    • 2022-05-30 at 2:25 pm

      So, you can’t “imagine these officers are not working elsewhere and even interested in returning”, but you can’t imagine that these officers may have already contracted COVID while serving the community when vaccines were not yet available. You also can’t imagine that these same officers may have immunity from prior infection that is proving superior and more durable than vaccination. You also don’t seem to be able to imagine that these officers may not want to assume the risks of a vaccine that seems to have limited effect on contracting and spreading the virus.
      Yet you do assume these officers don’t want their jobs back……based on what evidence?
      History will show that the lockdowns, forced vaccinations and heavy-handed government actions taking citizens rights, were grave mistakes. The sheep that complied and cheered these actions are complicit.

  • 2022-05-27 at 12:08 pm

    So let me get this straight.

    We should re-hire the cops who were too scared of getting vaccinated against Covid to protect themselves and the people around them; too unwilling to put themselves at a minuscule risk for the good of the community…….

    We’re supposed to rehire these guys because they, unlike the cops in TX these fearless Leesburg ‘warriors’ would have run into the school and saved those kids in Texas?

    Conservative republicans tell us this isn’t the time for partisan politics and policy solutions, while they simultaneously offer partisan political policy as solutions- pathetic.

    • 2022-05-27 at 1:33 pm

      Yet these Police officers were brave enough to do their jobs for over a year when “vaccines’ were not available. And the public was MORE THAN WILLING to have them out there doing so.

      It doesn’t work both ways.

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