It's really easy to take our first responders for granted. We get mad at them, if they stop us,hassle us or aren't there fast enough when we want them to be there. At budget times, they're often the first departments that people look to cut. Why do we need so many police? Do we really need so many firefighters? I'm here to tell you ABSOLUTELY YES!

When I was on the Bangor City Council from 1990-1993, I wanted to give the police and fire everything they wanted. When I was elected I got a box of business cards, yet our police officers were buying their own, or writing their names, badge numbers and telephone numbers on little pads, to hand out to citizens. One of the first things I insisted on was that they were given business cards. A little thing, but it was much more important that they had cards than me!

I have two Bangor police officers as neighbors. One worked last night from 6 PM (I think, it might have been even earlier) to 6 AM. He's back at work again tonight. The other, who is a canine officer is on call all the time. I worry about them, and when I heard about the active shooter this morning, I called one of my neighbors, with two children under 4, to see if she needed anything, and if her husband was involved. I worried about them, and all the first responders all day.

Bangor basically doubled it's size last night for the Phish concert. As I posted earlier, outside of a few drunks and punks, the concert and night went off without a hitch, with no major incidents. Then today, an active shooter, with 70 rounds being discharged right near the parade route. The parade gets altered,and someone driving a tractor tips, and is run over in front of everyone by someone driving an antique fire truck from the Hose 5 Fire Museum. A tragedy, that should be on the shoulders of the shooter.

Please join me in thanking our police, fire and EMS personnel. They work with the public and often see the public at it's worst, yet they're supposed to remain calm and polite. Surprise them, go up to them and just say thanks. You'll feel good, and you'll make their day! Trust me.