‘Reports of my demise ...’
by JIM RUTH, Bradley County Sheriff
Jun 23, 2013 | 778 views | 0 0 comments | 22 22 recommendations | email to a friend | print
“The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.” Mark Twain said something like that.

Again, thanks to all the people who have inquired about my health and wellness. Many have sent me well wishes through others. It is most gratifying to know that so many people care.

On a lighter note, there were others who were telling of my imminent demise. As it turned out it was only wishful thinking on their part. Thank God! In my joy at discovering that there are many well-wishers and people showing their goodwill to me and my family, I am reminded there is a vocal minority that have their priorities all messed up.

I speak of those whose speech manifests a shriveled up soul, a life that is lived that lacks the character that brings balance and joy to life. The unpleasant ne’er-do-well who spends his life tearing down that which is good, those who are successful and those who get the job done is himself a loser. Such a loser can’t get the job done, so he will let his jealousy and envy turn into hate. The souls of people like that are dried up, so they have nothing to contribute.

I read somewhere that we will be judged by what we say. “From the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.”

Well, so much for the good character lesson. A couple of years ago I was on a little personal listening tour, as I went to a different coffee shop for coffee and a biscuit each day. I enjoyed the fellowship and the opportunity to hear our citizens, young and old. I received some leads about possible criminal activities and, also, people told me of other law-enforcement needs in various places in the county. They gave me suggestions on what they thought should be done. I was even given some information to use in this column. It was a very fruitful exchange. It did create a problem with some weight gain for me, however.

In the next few days, I will begin this countywide tour again. I will be visiting the mom-and-pop restaurants and the fast food chains, as well. I will be glad to meet you and just get acquainted. If you see me at one of these places, please feel free to come up to me, even if I am in the middle of eating a biscuit. I will not think your interruption to be rude.

I told you last week that I was doing some rehab exercises. Many of these had to do with swallowing. But, I am doing very well now. I am drinking and eating anything I want. The other exercise I have been doing reminded me of when I played football at Cleveland High School and, then later at Bradley Central.

This is the real message I want to share with you today; I want all of Bradley County to know that we will continue to be transparent at your Sheriff’s Office. The chief deputy, the senior staff or I will have a comment about important information concerning the BCSO. Yet, there will be a few times we will have to delay our comments and statements in order to make sure we are not infringing on anyone’s right to privacy.

All of us know that often whoever is reporting or commenting on a story has a certain bias and that bias is very clear to the informed reader. One of the former spokespersons was laughing a while back about a TV reporter interviewing him about an incident. As he watched the story on the news that night it was reported completely differently than what had happened. This former deputy found it funny that the story could change so dramatically from Cleveland to Chattanooga.

Well, in summary, I want to say that there is this constant tension to make sure it is told as it happens. Of course, a defense lawyer will tell you that his witness is not lying, he is just giving has perspective on what was said and done.

But, I tend to agree with Sgt. Joe Friday from “Dragnet” who said, “Just the facts ma’am. Just the facts.”

I’m so glad to be back.

Thanks for reading.