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Community urged to attend town hall meeting
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Dear Editor,

I encourage all members of the larger extended community to attend and benefit from an important town hall meeting that will take place on Thursday, April 23, from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the Effingham County Board of Education auditorium, 405 North Ash St. in Springfield. Hosted by the Effingham County Chamber of Commerce, the event will be offered at no charge. Light refreshments will be served.

Why is this town hall meeting so important? A panel discussion, which will include Effingham County Sheriff McDuffie, Springfield Police Chief Wynn, Rincon Police Chief Scholl, Guyton Police Chief Lundy and Effingham County Chief Magistrate Judge Scott Hinson, will ensue. The purpose of the town hall meeting is to promote better relations between law enforcement officials and the larger community in order to avoid the violent confrontations that have taken place in many municipalities across the nation.

Many local civic organizations and churches are sponsoring this town hall meeting panel discussion. While this initiative was forwarded by the Effingham County branch of the NAACP, the sponsors and supporters envision the discussion as “county-wide, multi-racial and cross-generational.” As such, the town hall meeting will benefit the entire community. This issue is neither black nor white, but, more correctly, a civil rights one.

Boyce Slayman will serve as the moderator of the panel discussion. He asserts that there will be much “give-and-take” between the panel and the public.

His goal for this town hall meeting is “to begin a constructive, community-centered dialogue leading to the development of a progressive agenda wherein the community and law enforcement work cooperatively, addressing mutual concerns, and help advance the positive development of our youth.”

I hope that all members of the larger community take advantage of this wonderful opportunity.

Anthony Chiariello