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Opinion: Praise for Times series, law enforcement
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The scene where Adam English was shot by police Sept. 20, 2019, after reports he was waving a gun around in the parking lot of Northeast Georgia Physicians Group Surgical Associates on Jesse Jewell Parkway in Gainesville. This photo was obtained as part of an open records request with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

I’m writing to commend The Times on the recent deep dive titled “The Gun and the Bag” regarding the Adam English incident. 

It’s obvious that a lot of time and research went into the series by Nick Watson and The Times’ staff. After seeing the title of the series, I was expecting the typical media reporting of such similar incidents portraying the deceased as a good but troubled soul and painting law enforcement as being too heavy handed in the incident. Even though the series started following this exact storyline, it was refreshing to see The Times didn’t go directly there towards the end of the story.

Despite the pages and pages written regarding this unfortunate incident, the ultimate responsibility for the result lies with Mr. English. Despite the reason (drugs, mental issues, etc), the fact is Mr. English was running around in a very public place firing a gun and acting erratically. 

Multiple calls to the police were made by the general public for emergency help. Our local GPD officers came as fast as they could to the rescue. Mr. English was quickly surrounded, but failed to comply with commands to stop and show his hands even though all reports were that he was armed with at least one gun. Had he complied with the officers’ commands to show his hands, the incident ends much differently.

I am thankful to live in a community where we have such exemplary law enforcement as our Gainesville Police Department and Hall County Sheriff’s Office. Our brave men and women in uniform are on duty 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year keeping our community safe. 

Rather than heed the ridiculous calls to defund the police, we actually need to increase funding for our law enforcement to provide for increased salaries, additional training opportunities and the latest in specialized equipment to help them do their job. 

It has been said that freedom isn’t free. That is certainly true, and neither is public safety. If we want the best of the best wearing the badge, being out on patrol and actively engaging the criminal elements to keep us safe, we need to be willing to pay for it. Support your local law enforcement.

Scotty Ball