|Trinity Standard - Local News
Copyright 2012 - Polk County Publishing Company
Unity march draws 300+
Trinity Standard -
TRINITY – While the number of marchers did not reach the goal of 500, the first Community in Unity March Against Drugs and Crime was deemed a success. And to show how much he appreciates the community’s support, Trinity Police Chief Steve Jones has agreed to have his head shaved. “The best count that we got of the number of participants was from Councilman Neal Smith, who put the number at 301,” Jones said. Jones and all of the members of his department had agreed to have their heads shaved if the total topped 500 and Mayor Lyle Stubbs made the offer is the number topped 1,000. While the other officers appeared to have elected to keep their existing hair, the chief said he would submit to the clippers and razor this week. “Actually, I plan to have my wife do it today,” he said Tuesday, noting he hopes his “sacrifice” will help encourage people to take part in next year’s march. “Yes, there will be one next year, but we’re planning on holding it during a cooler part of the year,” he said. March has been selected as the month it will be held and Jones said the name of next year’s event would by the 2013 March March Against Drugs and Crime. “We want next year’s event to be bigger and better. We learned a lot about holding a march so we can make improvements next year,” he said. One change will be to keep the bottled water out of he sun before it is distributed to the walkers. “We didn’t want to hand out cold water to the marchers and thought that room temperature would be better for them. Unfortunately, the water was left in the sun so when it was handed out, it was almost like trying to drink a bottle of hot coffee.” Another minor problem encountered is that the large number of young people taking part in the march outpaced the older folks, including members of the police department, Jones joked. “Actually, I was encouraged to see the large number of students who took part,” Jones said, indicating that about 85 percent of the marchers were young people. “The support we received on our first march is a testament that the good people of our community are tired of feeling helpless and victimized by crime and drugs,” he said. Jones said the march was designed to help bring police and the community together to make a statement about crime in general and the use of illegal drugs in particular. “We’re trying to do new things to fight crime and drugs. Just making arrests is not enough, we need to get the community involved and the Community in Unity March is just one of the things that we are doing,” he said. Jones noted they hope to schedule some type of activity involving the community about every three months, including fundraisers for scholarships or to support local groups such as the Boys and Girls Club of Trinity. Jones noted that Officer Donald Givens was the primary organizer of the march and has been working in other community relation’s activities in recent weeks. “Unless he has some type of conflict, he tries to get down to Lansberry Elementary School every Thursday and Friday to eat lunch with a difference class. This allows the children to develop a relationship with a law enforcement officer,” Jones said. “I really appreciate all of Officer Givens hard work on this project and I am proud of all of our officers. They all turned out, including those on their day off, and took part in the march.” The police chief also voiced his thanks to the Trinity Volunteer Fire Department for their assistance. In addition to helping with crowd control along the highway, the department provided the flag arch on Highway 19 in front of the Old Red School. Two ladder trucks with their ladders extended upward displayed a large U.S. flag over the highway. This was only the second time that the TVFD created the arch. The first occurred the day before for the funeral service of longtime constable and former TVFD member James O. Reynolds.