To lose one of our law enforcement officers at any time to the criminal element that seems so pervasive in Albany is a tragedy. But the death of Dougherty County police Lt. Cliff Rouse in the line of duty, one hour into Christmas Eve, comes as a shock to not only his family, but the entire community.
Today, all we can do is keep his wife, his children, his family, fellow officers, and friends, close in our hearts and prayers. Tomorrow, all of us have the solemn responsibility to turn Albany around. This terrible act of one desperate and misguided person should serve as a wakeup call. We can no longer simply sit in our homes and complain about the downward slide of Albany. We must act.
To change our community we must first change ourselves. We have to care about our neighbor. We have to treat those most unlike us with decency and respect. We must stop saying the problem is “them”. We are them.
To be “The Good Life City” once again requires we be good people first. The rest will follow. If you take my remarks as an offense because you already consider yourself to be a good person, then I challenge you to be a better person. I know I think of myself as a good man, but I also know I could be a better man. I have to believe that change is in me, and in this city.
God bless and be with the Rouse family, and all of Albany