WCSO-How to Grind a Good Man Down
It’s hard to let go of something that’s caused us so much stress for the last five years
. I hope
you’ll allow me the grace to add more to my last letter. When Paul read my letter on Scribd, he
immediately pointed out that the events came to a head with Cooley and Kristen on the night of her 20
birthday and not her 21
birthday (hence the corrected version). I knew that fact at one point in timeand it makes what happened even more damming but I was looking at it through the lenses of a wifeand mother.
You see, when Kristen became an explorer with the Sheriff’s office, Paul took Cooley a
side andasked him to be especially careful with Kristen. He explained to Cooley that Kristen was being raised by
her grandmother and that she didn’t have many male role models in her life. Her father had passed
away when she was very young and her mother was unable to take care of her. I first met her
grandmother at the Meridian Middle School picnic to welcome the new sixth graders. Kristen’s
grandmother was already 70 years old and a real sweet lady. One of her biggest concerns was that
pass away before Kristen grew up
. She was teaching Kristen things like how to cook so she’d be
able to take care of herself if that happened. Fortunately she did live to see Kristen grow up. She
witnessed the change in Kristen and Cooley’s relationship and wa
s troubled by it, but powerless tointervene.
Interestingly, Kristen’s grandmother wasn’t ev
en contacted by the law enforcement agencywho conducted the investigation about the allegations against Cooley.Before Kristen told Paul about what had happened with Cooley, Paul liked the man. A few
weeks before we learned about what had happened, he’d been in our house with his two young sons,
dropping off his car for Paul to fix. He presented himself as a good, solid family man. What a schmuck.Can you really trust someone who takes a young woman under his wing, befriends her, mentorsher and then becomes her boyfriend when
he’s a married man with two young sons? It’s outrageous.
We expect the members of our law enforcement community to be honest, to be the good guys/gals.
I’msorry but it’s just more offensive when one of the “good” guys
behaves immorally. When a cop provesto have such low moral character as to take advantage of a young woman, that man has no businessbeing in law enforcement. What really happened when Kristen was passed out? Why did she pass outafter drinking a glass of wine (the other alcoholic beverage had been consumed much earlier in theevening)? If nothing happened, why did Cooley try to get her into trouble with her base commander?Why was he trying to discredit her?
Now, why oh why didn’t the
Sheriff fire him? Other people have been run out of thedepartment for doing far, far less than what Cooley did. Not only did he escape being fired but after hispunishment he got promoted to lieutenant and now to Chief
. Meanwhile Paul gets discredited. He’s
not sure what message was spread around, but he could tell it was something by how others treatedhim. At the time that he turned in the memo he was working in detectives and doing a good job.Because there were still some things that he wanted to get done, he asked for a continuation of his
position. He was denied and put back on patrol. If you know how the sheriff’s office works then you
know that specialty positions are han
ded out as rewards, treats for good behavior. It’s not based on