By Ashley Slayton
TENAHA, TX (KTRE) - Tenaha Police Department is “at it again.”
The department recently became the subject of much scrutiny and many memes after a KTRE story detailing one of the department’s recent drug busts went viral.
The officers showed off their sense of humor and took a moment to address their department philosophy, posting a message Friday afternoon to their Facebook page.
“There is no such thing as a ‘minor’ or ‘inconsequential’ felony crime,” the department stated.
The message accompanies an image of officers with the police department and the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office gathered behind a table with one shoe from a burglary suspect.
"Those Guys in Tenaha are at it again! And this time, they are joined by the Shelby County DA and his sidekick/investigator. The recovery of the evidence displayed led to the solving of not one, but two, burglaries.
Lesson to all you Cinderellas out there – if you commit a burglary, we will catch you, especially if you leave a slipper behind!!! Seriously, though, the point of our messages is that in 2018 in Tenaha and in Shelby County, there is no such thing as a “minor” or “inconsequential” felony crime.
These matters certainly were not inconsequential or funny to the folks who had their buildings broken into and property stolen. The City of Tenaha and the DA are working overtime to serve and protect our citizens."
On Dec. 5, a KTRE Facebook post on a Tenaha PD drug bust reached more than 17 million people. The post was shared by BuzzFeed, the Houston Chronicle and The Inquirer.
The department issued a lengthy response on Dec. 7, addressing the viral post.
Tenaha Police Department:
I want to thank those that support the Tenaha Police Department and continue to support law enforcement across this country. Law enforcement officers put their lives on the line everyday to face the very evils that many do not have the courage to do. In today's society, we live in times of dangers and uncertainties. I watch on a daily basis as families are ripped apart, people are murdered for no reasons at all, children live in broken homes, drugs have devastated people's lives to incomprehensible measures, and law enforcement officers are hunted down like wild game simply because they wear a badge.
The reputation and integrity of many towns and counties have been destroyed by evil people who set out to simply further their own agenda. With that said, my department recently executed a search warrant on a known drug house. Was it the crime of the century? Was it the bust of the year? No! Absolutely not. But it was a message to the people to whom my officers and I were sworn to protect and serve that we are activity pursuing those who set out to commit crimes and that we will continue to enforce the laws set forth by the state of Texas and the United States Government. One thing I don’t understand after a recent post regarding the above arrest is why or how people could leave negative feedback and comments regarding the appearance of the law enforcement officers and the “amount” of drugs and money seized.
I think the importance of the post was that laws were broken, the drugs were illegal regardless of the amount, and I have peace knowing that these drugs will not reach our youth, or anyone of any age in our community. People fail to see the dangers and seriousness behind “marijuana”! New statistics show that 10% of 8th graders, 26% of 10 graders, and 37% of 12th graders have tried or use marijuana with medical studies that show many negative and proven side effects of this drug on our children. We have had murders in our community in direct relation to “marijuana” and in amounts not much more that what you saw on that table.
One other important fact that people do not realize is a lot of times marijuana is not “just marijuana”, it is laced with fentanyl, PCP, or other harmful drugs unknown to the ones purchasing it until it is too late. It is no secret that in the city that I serve, the reputation and integrity was called into question in an incident that happened years before my time here in office that directly involved the use, sale, and distribution of narcotics. Since then, certain people have continued those illegal actions unchallenged, with free rain, and people across this county have begged for someone to come in and do something about it. I have stepped up to the plate.
I have put my integrity, license, and family on the line to take on this task even after I was warned not to. I saw hope and I believed in the people of this county and I believe we have already begun to mend and rebuild our community, the people;s hope and trust. I will not fear those who set out to destroy the positives in my life. I believe that fear is a false hope, appearing to be real. I want the public to know that I do not judge those that have been in bad situations, committed crimes, have had addictions, or have addictions, but I must uphold the law.
I do not believe jail will solve the problems of the world and I know that it is not the best answer for some situations, but they don’t leave those decisions up to me.I know that this post too will receive much criticism, negative reactions, and minimal positive feedback but I believe in the rule of law and the good of man. I encourage you to both like and share this post. Last, to the ones fancy with a keyboard, I want to say I have seen many memes, even some that I found entertaining, I appreciate the publicity that Tenaha Police Department will arrest you if you break the law.
In regards to the comments addressing tax payers dollars; many officers volunteer their time, countless hours away from their families, loved ones, and kids to help carry out these extra duties without any pay. I personally want say thank you to the men and women in uniform that serve in our county from state and federal agencies to our local district attorney to constables, sheriffs, and police departments, 3 of which are employed with the Tenaha Police Department. I will continue to stay true to the laws and the Constitution of the United States.
Proud to serve and protect,Jeremy H. PopeChief of Police
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