Ladies and gentlemen, what would you call a community leader who so proudly proclaims that he wants “our community members to feel safe and secure in their communities“, but then fails to warn those community members of a pending weather disaster, packs his bags and moves himself out of harms way, leaving his community to fend for itself during the devastation? And what would you call a Chief of Police who removes numbers of good, hard-working, community-minded officers from service based upon often unsubstantiated rumors and allegations? I don’t know about you, ladies and gentlemen, but in my opinion someone who demonstrates a lack of character this substantial can be deemed little more than a two-faced, chicken-shit coward! And from what I’m hearing, this is precisely what we have with Port Arthur Police Chief Patrick Melvin.
Better yet, folks, why don’t you ask Chief Melvin why he and buddy, now ex-City Manager Brain McDougal, packed their bags and left Port Arthur for the safety of a hotel rumored to be in Fort Worth to avoid the devastation Port Arthur faced from Tropical Storm Harvey? It isn’t like they weren’t aware of the pending disaster because both the Severe Storms Laboratory in Norman, Oklahoma, and the National Weather Service Office in Lake Charles, Louisiana, began issuing special weather statements and warnings as much as four (4) days before Harvey even arrived in the mid and south Jefferson County region. Furthermore, both were aware a State of Emergency was declared for Port Arthur, and they joined other community leaders who chose to not release that information to the people of the community, thus leaving the people of Port Arthur on their own to face what became the most serious incident of flooding in history. Now you tell me what that demonstrates!
Perhaps Chief Melvin would like to explain just how a community with literally no law enforcement presence in our neighborhoods and along our roadways can be so safe and secure for the community’s citizens? Or, perhaps he would like to explain how forcing so many officers from the ranks of the Port Arthur Police Department, thus leaving the community with a critical shortage of officers to serve the community, benefits the city? Granted, not all officers are perfect little angels in the way they conducted themselves in relation to their jobs, but what’s worse? Weeding out bad apples, or making sure the city doesn’t have enough officers to safely and securely provide protection to its citizens?
Ladies and gentlemen, I’m saying right now that I really don’t know that much about Port Arthur Police Chief Patrick Melvin because I’ve only met and spoken with the man for just a few minutes one time. But what I’m hearing regarding his tactics toward the officers and administration of the Port Arthur Police Department leaves an awful lot of questions; questions I can’t be sure he’s willing to address or even respond to. All I can say is that if all the rumors and allegations against Chief Melvin, including the vote of no confidence against him by 85% of the officers’ union members, are founded then why does our Mayor and members of City Council continue to support him? Do they have some sort of a hidden agenda, or do they, too, fit into the same description as does apparently Chief Melvin?
Think about this, ladies and gentlemen. If Port Arthur Police Chief Patrick Melvin continues to receive the support of both Mayor Derrick Freeman and the members of our City Council, then why should a damned one of them expect us to vote to elect or re-elect them? I won’t tell you what to do, or how to vote in any future elections. I think y’all are smart enough to figure this stuff out for yourselves. Just be sure, though, that I’m going to give careful consideration with regard to who I vote for or against. I can only hope you’ll do the same.