Cedar Creek Lake

Because Life is Better at the Lake

Humanity Shows Through


My name is Nicole Sprabary. I am a mom, first and foremost and raise my daughters in the Cedar Creek Lake community. I am a transplant from just Northwest of the Lake and look forward to spending the rest of my life here. I am a freelance writer and blogger, wanting to speak truth and greatness into our community in hopes of creating a ripple of good throughout our small lake towns.

Northwest of Cedar Creek Lake area in Kaufman, one kind deed was anything but unnoticed. Only this kind deed has cost one officer his badge, for now, while an investigation is underway. However, could it mean forever?

Only time will tell after one incident that occurred last week. A call into the local police department, dispatched and officer to the location because of a person caught shoplifting at the local Wal-Mart.

Once the officer got to the scene, he realized this was not an ordinary theft. After talking to the young man, the officer realized this was a man stole because he was hungry. He had not eaten in several days.

This officer, realizing the extenuating circumstances of the situation, combined with the fact that this young man has impeccable history of never being in trouble with the law, decided to let him go with a warning. Did this show a good judge of character by a veteran police officer?

He was not done there. The officer paid for the two items, a drink and a turkey leg, and then went even further by giving him a few extra dollars out of his own pocket.

Once getting back to the City of Kaufman Police Department, a superior officer confronted him and wanted to know why he did not arrest on the scene, as well as wanted an arrest warrant issued immediately. When the officer refused, insubordination was the term used when he was relieved of his duties pending an internal investigation. The police department is stating that they did not relieve him of his duties due to the incident at Wal-Mart, rather the incident once he was back at the station.

The alleged victim, Wal-Mart, still insisted on pressing charges despite the officer paying for the items. In a situation where a crime has been committed, if the victim wants to pursue, the police department is under certain obligation to do so in some form.

Is this what we are coming to as a society? Where hungry people are arrested because they choose to make a choice of survival? What of the superior officer? Does he have no compassion in a situation like this or is this a, “if one gets away with it, all will want to get away with it” situation.

How can we as a community prevent this? Would this have been one of those times where, had the officer given the ticket and arrest, would have been worth the penalty? A theft of property that is valued at less than $50, gives a class c misdemeanor and fines up to $500. Not to mention that adult shoplifters can also be sued by the merchant for actual damages, in this case less than $5 plus any damages of up to $1,000.

Family of the officer stated that morally, he made the right choice. So where do we as a society, decide that law supersedes morality? When will we realize that our rights as humans supersede laws in some cases? What can we do as humans to stand up in a society that governs in a way that makes 90% of the population live in poverty that leads to hunger?

“What is right is not always popular and what is popular is not always right.” ― Albert Einstein

Likewise, what is right may not be legal and what is legal may not always be right.

So should we leave it up to the, “lawmakers” to decide what is right for us as a society? On the other hand, should we as a society decide what is right for us as a community and take care of each other?

That is a question for the ages.

One study found in particular, is one that shows Wal-Mart itself has been a CAUSE to the ever-growing poverty rates in rural economies. It cites, “After controlling for other factors determining changes in the poverty rate over time, we find that counties with more initial (1987) Wal-Mart stores and counties with more additions of stores between 1987 and 1998 experienced greater increases (or smaller decreases) in family-poverty rates during the 1990s economic boom period”

I can only imagine how it influences the community in today’s world since we are most certainly not having an economic boom.





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