Be wise and responsible this holiday season
LINGLE – The temperatures are dropping and winter is fast approaching in Goshen County. This also means the time of year when many greatly look forward to the holidays!
With Thanksgiving already in the books and with Christmas now well on its way, of course the right thing to do is to have fun and keep the holiday spirit alive.
The only way to do so successfully is stay safe, responsible and mindful of those around us.
The holidays are a time of joy, being with family and relishing in the wonderful pleasantries the season has to offer.
If we are getting unsafe or irresponsible, the fun goes right out the window. So with both holidays and another classic Wyoming snow season ahead of us, Lingle Police Chief Endra Andrews recently sat down with the Lingle Guide.
Andrews was once again obstinate in reminding all residents to have fun and enjoy yourself, but never get carried away to a point where things get unsafe.
“Halloween was wonderful and amazing,” Andrews began. “Trunk or Treat went over very well. The kids had fun, and nothing too major has come up. Keep in mind of the school zones, and keep looking for those flashing lights. This time of year they get hard to see. When it comes to the Wyoming Department of Transportation advisories, we need to be paying close attention to them. When the roads are closed the roads are closed. Stay at home when they aren’t open, and stay at home if the weather is really bad. If there are advisories, pay attention and don’t be part of the problem. Go slow, don’t be impatient and be aware.”
Andrews also took a brief moment to remind Lingle residents to be mindful, and courteous when it comes to snow removal this winter.
“Also this winter season after a snowstorm, we need to be removing our sidewalks within 24 hours of a storm. If you cannot, you need to please call Town Hall and we will help do that for you.”
Chief Andrews noted although the holiday season can be extremely joyful and pleasant for some, they can also be a time of great sorrow and grievance for others.
As certain residents have experienced possibly losing a loved one, a job, or are going through financial difficulty; Andrews expressed strong encouragement for residents to show the utmost compassion and courtesy with each other throughout this holiday season.
“I would like community members to just to take care of each other,” Andrews stated. “Check on your neighbors, and remember we have an older community. How about you check on the people around you. This is a tough time of year. People get depressed, and not only for seasonal disorders. They don’t have a lot of sun, people miss their families and relive crisis’s. There is a lot of loss. Be kind, be very kind, check on people and don’t try to hurt people. We don’t need to be cruel and we definitely don’t need to be egregious. Just love people and help each other out. And if you need something please call me.”
Despite taking deep pride in the responsibilities of her duties as Lingle’s Police Chief, Andrews took a moment to show her own humanity and discussed a longing to be with her own family as the holiday season quickly approaches.
“I have given so much of myself over the years, and I really hope I get to spend time with my daughter and family this year,” Andrews said. “I want to be there to make sure she enjoys Christmas. Once again if there’s a serious crisis call, I’m going to be there. I will continue to be as kind as I can, and help people survive difficulties that they find themselves in. We would like to have safe celebrations throughout this Christmas and New Year’s. Don’t drink and drive, and always have a designated driver.”
As many love to do around Christmas and New Year’s, drinking a bit of alcohol at parties does become a social tradition. Andrews continued explaining that during the course of her career as a police officer as well as personal life experiences, the overuse of alcohol can change a person’s life incessantly with one wrong decision.
According to Andrews, the effects of these decisions have the power to go way beyond just one individual over the course of decades.
“The truth is I can’t control people,” Andrews said. “I would hope that people think about the risk to their families, to their future and to other people on the roads. I would hope they would be considerate and just have a designated driver. Drinking and driving was not a thing growing up. I grew up on top of a mountain. You can’t get drunk and drive down that mountain, or drive around it. You would’ve died. Not that we didn’t drink growing up. We had a lot of parties in the middle of that mountain, but we were always responsible with having designated drivers. Sometimes I think kids and people in general don’t think it’s that big a deal because you can see in front of you for miles and miles. So, they think that they can drink and handle it, and no one will get hurt. It’s not a guarantee. Don’t get behind the wheel if you’ve been drinking. We always think things aren’t going to happen to us.”
Consequences of irresponsible drinking do not just apply to drinking and driving according to the Lingle Chief. Andrews recalled one incident growing up involved a close friend who lost his temper during a young, masculine-driven altercation.
The close friend’s life was forever changed after the incident.
“When it comes to fist fighting, I had a friend in high school who was real feisty. He was always getting into fights, and he had one particular nemesis. There was a street dance that we were all at, and they got into an argument. My friend punched this kid in the face. The kid didn’t even black out, nothing. That’s how boys were. You would fight, it’s over with and you go your separate ways. That kid went home, went to sleep and never woke up. The sad thing is that same friend is now 50 some years old. He was arrested and charged, and they originally wanted to charge him as an adult. The other boy’s parents said, ‘We’ve already lost one child. We don’t need to lose another.
“The sad thing is he has been gone ever since that day. He was never the same, he got into drugs and can’t get past the fact that he killed somebody. You never, ever ever get past that. We are just trying to survive life with the tools and knowledge we have. Most of us are just trying to get by, and we end up in terrible situations because of terrible decisions that affect us for the rest of our lives. So be respectful, think long term and put yourself in somebody else’s shoes. What are the consequences? Weigh the risks and consequences. Do you even want to risk it? Anything can happen, so again be kind.”
With strong points being made very clear in the direction of residents she serves every day, Andrews had one final thing to add. Anyone who knows Chief Andrews is well aware that any conversation with the longtime officer is bound to involve some blunt humor.
Andrews did not let the conversation end without a humorous, and sarcastic statement in regard to celebrating the holidays in weeks to come.
“Love your families,” Andrews finished. “If you adopt a pet, please take responsibility and take care of it. It’s a long term commitment. Water your trees so your house does not catch on fire. Whatever electrical issues you have, take care of that now so your house doesn’t burn down while opening presents Christmas morning. Don’t let your grandma take dog tranquilizers either. And if you can’t get ahold of me, just call Logan.”