Police chief always takes the high road
My family and I recently left the Roaring Fork Valley for Boulder but still are inextricably linked to the valley. Roderick O’Connor and his wife, Denise, were also our wonderful and caring neighbors. It bears repeating, as has been said by many of Roderick’s supporters, that he was in service to Basalt as an exemplary leader who was not only a tough and courageous officer and chief but also an individual who is committed to live his life by the higher standards of respect, understanding, fairness, kindness and compassion for all.
These qualities were demonstrated to me not only through his work as Basalt police chief but also as an individual, neighbor and friend. Indeed, there is no pretense in Roderick, and he sees the human landscape through a rare combination of qualities that I only rarely have seen exhibited by law enforcement officers.
It saddens our family to have to bear witness to the treatment Roderick and Denise have had to endure at the hands of town of Basalt and, perhaps, his own police force. As one astute reader and friend of Roderick said in these pages, something’s rotten in Basalt, and the mean-spirited, power-tripping (and, I might add, jealous) forces have, for now, prevailed. What they can’t take away, however, is Roderick’s dignity and passion for his purpose to serve others.
As I know Roderick takes the high road, I can only hope others, especially those who felt the need to undo him, also will have the sense to learn from him. Somehow, though, I doubt that lesson will be learned because seemingly a faceless cowardice, not truth, has been allowed to burrow and lurk by the Basalt politicos. In the words of Gandhi, “Truth is by nature self-evident. As soon as you remove the cobwebs of ignorance that surround it, it shines clear.”
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