I apologize for the delay in my blog this week. You are probably thinking that that cat, Mew, changed my password so I could not post but that isn’t what happened. This has been a very hard week to be an Enthusiasm Coordinator. Everyone at Rees Harps has been sad and so have I.
Rising Sun, Indiana is a very small town, only 2600 people live here so everyone knows everyone and that is especially true in the case of the community leaders like Rising Sun Police Chief Davie Hewitt. I had not had the opportunity to meet Dave yet but almost all of the Rees Harps family knew him and we were all heartbroken to hear the news that Dave died while on duty.
The whole town felt (and still feels) the same. There are black ribbons with blue lines everywhere and plenty of those thin blue line flags too. The mayor ordered flags to fly at half mast for 27 days, one for each year Dave had been an officer. Because our small police department wanted to maintain a 24-hour color guard with Dave until the funeral, the Indiana State Police helped out by sending officers to handle the day-to-day policing for over a week, until our people could go back on regular duty. Of course, right now it feels like nothing will be “regular” for a very long time.
The high school had to close for two days this week because it is the biggest building in town and it was needed so that the community could pay respects to Dave’s family. Some of the people from Rees stood in line for three hours and they told me about how much they appreciated the opportunity to learn more about Dave and to thank his parents, wife and children for his service, wisdom and kindness. All city offices were closed this Wednesday so that everyone could attend the funeral. Police departments from across Indiana as well as from Ohio and Kentucky were represented as well. It takes a lot to rock a community as tight as this one but losing Dave was more than enough.
Waaaaaay back, in December of 2015, which, to me counts as prehistoric, a member of my family recorded an interview with Dave. She has a radio program/podcast called Hopping Mad with Will McLeod and Arliss Bunny. She’s Arliss. She and I thought you might want to hear the interview so you too will understand how exceptional a man Dave Hewitt was and how fortunate Rising Sun was to have him. At the time, on the podcast blog, Arliss said this about Dave:
We are back with an all new show including a first-rate interview with Police Chief David Hewitt. For eleven years Chief Hewitt has been running a small town, Midwest department which is known for its considered approach to law enforcement. His thinking on social justice, the militarization of policing, use of force and the pressures being placed on law enforcement to fill gaps which are not being met at the source are all well worth hearing. Listen to him saying “You can’t arrest your way to” a solution. If he could tell all departments across the nation one thing he said, “You can’t call that bullet back.” Every department is not Chicago or Ferguson. It’s important to hear from a Chief who thinks deeply about the challenges and solutions in modern policing.
This is a quote from Dave which was provided at his funeral, I think it says everything.
Statistically speaking, I’m on the slow downhill slide. I have more years behind me than I have ahead of me. I live a solidly middle class existence, but I do more than just exist. I’ll always find a way to make time and money to feed that flame and to find a new wild place to go. It’s part of who I am and I bet that if you dig deep enough, it’s part of who you are too, you just need to stoke that spark and find it.
I believe it was Abraham Lincoln that once said “It’s not the years in your life, it’s the life in your years.”
As long as I am physically able and can scrape together some funds here and there, I’ll continue to add life to my time in the form of wilderness and adventure. My hope is that you folks find your spark and do the same. - Rising Sun Police Chief David Hewitt (1969 - 2019)
For more episodes from “Hopping Mad” with Will McLeod and Arliss Bunny, visit ImHoppingMad.com or search “Hopping Mad” on iTunes.