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Elliott, sheriff’s department praised

October 31, 2003

Dear Editor:

I read with interest the flurry of comments involving the placement of a fish on the rear of Deputy Sheriff Marty Elliott’s cruiser. Among the comments that interested me most were those relating to the character and stature of Marty and the sheriff’s department as a whole. As a practitioner of criminal defense law in this area, I want to assure this community that we are indeed protected by the finest of officers, both men and women, with whom I deal regularly. Sheriff LeeRoy Hardin and his staff, following in the footsteps of Karl Luttrell, do an outstanding job upholding peace, dignity, and fairness within our county.

This department, like Karl before them, are informed, polite, and friendly. Individually, and as a group, it is an absolute pleasure to work with men and women of this caliber, and I am proud to know each and every one of them. We are indeed blessed to be protected and served by this fine group.

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As to the issue of Deputy Sheriff Elliott’s cruiser, I will observe the history of the fish in question. In the early days of Christianity, at the height of the Roman Empire, Christians could not move or assemble freely amongst themselves. In order to identify each other, they informally adopted certain clandestine symbols which they would form in the sand with their feet as they spoke. Among these was that of a fish, a reference I believe to the story of the loaves and the fishes, as well as Jesus’s characterization of the disciples as “fishers of men.” As an extremely subtle and fairly vague symbol I believe this works well. Certainly the image of a fish can be taken in many ways. I would therefore gratefully choose to believe that Marty is a bass fisherman, an outdoorsman, a fine public servant, and a very good man.

Patrick S. McClure

Danville

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