By BARBARA A. SCHWARTZ
Albert Einstein said, “The world is a dangerous place. Not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don’t do anything about it.”
Unfortunately, in Harris County, judges aren’t doing anything about it.
Police officers go forth each day and battle evil. They are on the front lines trying to rid our streets and city from evildoers. Police officers protect law-abiding citizens from evil criminal offenders.
Bill Jeffrey did that every day of his career.
And Jeffrey died, was murdered, at the hands of an evildoer who shouldn’t have been on the streets.
In his memory, we must fight the battle to make sure those in the judicial system heed Einstein’s warning. We need to make sure that prosecutors and judges keep doing something about evil.
We must fight the battle to make sure that bond and bond conditions fit the crime: fit the evil that was done.
We must fight the battle to make sure that bond and bond conditions keep the evildoers where they belong: locked up in jail, so evildoers cannot prey on innocent law-abiding citizens and murder hardworking, hero cops.
Judges are elected officials. They are public servants who answer to the will of the people and the law of the land.
The people want to go safely about their business, the people want to feel secure in their homes, the people want to live their lives in safety and not in fear because of the poor judgment of those elected to judge and follow the law.
Officers want to go home—safely—to their loved ones at the end of their workday. Instead, officers face the same violent evildoers over and over again because they are released on bond.
The Houston Police Officers’ Union (HPOU) cannot fight this fight alone. Citizens of Houston and Harris County must take on Einstein’s challenge and do something about evil. That “thing” is to elect judges who will keep criminals off the streets and demand that seated judges do the same.
Citizens need to make their voices heard. Citizens need to vote and petition accordingly. The average citizen knows little about the judges they vote for and elect. Not many citizens research the records of judges when deciding their vote. Most citizens vote along party lines.
Time for a change. Texas judges should no longer run for election under the party system. Crime and citizen safety is not a partisan issue. Keeping citizens safe is the number one responsibility of government and the criminal justice system.
Judges should not be influenced by party politics only by interpretation of the law and keeping citizens safe.
Shots rang out on September 20, 2021. Those shots were initiated by an evildoer who failed to comply with court ordered mandates. The officers were at that apartment complex to do something about evil. To bring a non-compliant evildoer to justice.
The court failed the citizens and the officers who uphold the law. Failed by allowing this evildoer to roam free and failed to enforce mandates when the evildoer refused to comply with court orders.
Jeffrey and his team were there to serve the community, to rid the streets of an evildoer, and to keep the citizens of Houston and Harris County safe.
They were there because they were doing something about evil.
Author George Orwell wrote, “People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.”
Bill Jeffrey was one of those rough men. He dedicated his life, and paid with his life, by standing ready to do violence on behalf of his fellow officers and law-abiding citizens. He was out there fighting crime while people slept peaceably in their beds.
Now, we the citizens of Houston and Harris County need to do our part on behalf of Bill Jeffrey, his grieving family, Sgt. Mike Vance and his family, and on behalf of all hardworking Houston Police and Harris County officers who fight against evil.
We need to use the weapon of our vote at the ballot box to elect judges who will heed Einstein’s warning and do something about evil. We need to use our vote to purge out of office those judges who “don’t do anything about it.” Elect judges who will keep the most evil amongst us in jail. Elect judges who will keep those intent on doing harm to our officers off the streets.
Citizens need to use their votes to step up and do something about evil.
Doing so will honor Bill Jeffrey, his sacrifice, and his years of service fighting evil.
Let’s heed Albert Einstein’s advice. He’s considered one of the most intelligent human beings who ever lived for a reason. We must listen to, and act on, his sage words.
Copyright©2021 Barbara A. Schwartz All Rights Reserved.
No part of this article may be reproduced in any manner without the expressed written consent of the author.
Barbara A. Schwartz has dedicated her life to supporting the brave officers of law enforcement. She is certified in first responder peer support by the International Critical Incident Stress Foundation (ICISF) and the Law Enforcement Alliance for Peer Support (LEAPS). She maintains specializations in grief after trauma, injured officer support, suicide prevention, and traumatic stress reactions and injuries.