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Security issues in Monarch

To the Editor:

I am baffled. I was always under the impression that our police officers and firefighters were sworn to protect the public and their fellow first responders. But I read that a Monarch fire captain was suspended by the district’s Board of Directors for publicly disclosing a security enhancement that was recently installed to protect the district officers and board members.

Further, I understand that he went so far as to make light of the district’s effort to enhance security. Since this man is a union shop steward, perhaps this was done in an effort to make the board look bad.

In my mind he was way out of line and the board apparently felt the same way when they suspended him for two days. I think he needs to re-evaluate his priorities and make sure serving the citizens comes ahead of serving the interests of the union he leads.

This Monarch captain may feel that taking precautions to prevent harm to life and property is unnecessary due to the unlikelihood that an attack would take place at a board meeting.

What were the chances someone would walk into the Kirkwood City Council chambers in 2008,  kill six people and wound two others including a reporter? Moreover, what were the chances anyone would board three airplanes and crash them into office buildings killing over 3000 innocent people, including firefighters and police officers? What were the chances U.S. Rep. Gabby Giffords would be shot in a parking lot in broad daylight?

The chances in each case were extraordinarily slim, yet each event, and many others like these, have occurred. The response of conscientious individuals, companies and government is to put procedures and equipment in place to prevent a recurrence.

If the opportunity exists to shore up security within the constraints of the budget, then to do anything else would be irresponsible.

We all know about TSA and I suspect the Kirkwood City Council chamber has a number of security enhancements in place.

The security enhancement that Monarch put in place, and others like it, may possibly save lives.

As a taxpayer in the fire district, I applaud the board’s foresight in recognizing this. Shame on the Monarch captain for failing to recognize his obligation to protect life and property in the name of trying to further the union cause.

Rick Gans

Chesterfield

 

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