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Opinion: Open Letter from Sergeant Willie Thompson

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Sergeant Willie Thompson is a detective on the Elizabethtown Police Department. Recently, Sgt. Thompson sent an open letter to Bladen Online about challenges and needed changes.

Following is Sgt. Thompson’s letter:

Over thirty years ago, my mother told me that a person’s character defines who they are. I did not know at the time, but what she told me
was the most important thing that she had ever said to me.

I grew up with a drug-addicted father, and I have faced many adversities in life. I went into the military at seventeen years old after high school, and I thought about what my mother told me all the time.

I used what she told me to make it through Basic Training, numerous deployments all over the world, and throughout everyday life. I decided to become a law enforcement officer after I got out of the military.

Through my experiences in the military and law enforcement career, I have met many people of all races, colors, and all walks of life. As I
look at the world today and I see so much division. I see the toll it has taken on law enforcement officers.

I see how many of the citizens that law enforcement officers have sworn to serve and protect pass judgment before any dialogue is even exchanged.

I work hand and hand with officers who I have never seen pass judgment on anyone despite race, color, or creed, yet they are labeled before they even say a word.

We, as a society and community, have got to do better than this and come together. Use the adversities and hardships you face in life
and strive to do better. And finally, as my mother told me, let your character define who you are.

– Willie

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