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Thanks to Saranac Lake police reform committee

To the editor:

Our ancestors’ trauma lives with us. We’re only generations removed from slavery, war, famine and a time when child abuse was socially accepted, even encouraged.

According to a 2019 community needs assessment conducted by Adirondack Health, substance abuse and mental health disorders were identified as the greatest concerns for stakeholders in the region. For those of us that have grown up here, this isn’t a surprise. For generations, many of our friends and family have struggled, sometimes getting by on resiliency alone. The effects of generational poverty and abuse are present in so many communities today.

National poverty trends have only made the problem worse. Harvard Institute for Opportunity Insight reports only 50% of children grow up to earn more than their parents, this despite cost of living increases. For many in our region, poverty and its effects are inescapable.

Community lead action is overdue. The Saranac Lake police reform committee and Franklin County community services office should be commended for their work. The proposal to establish a Counselor and Law Enforcement Partnership (CALEP) shows our community cares about its neighbors and the well-being of our future generations. We’re very fortunate.

Moving forward, when we’re confronted with a tragedy such as the murder of Mr. George Floyd or the recent massacres across the country, I hope that forward thinkers and people of action are still standing by to ensure that here, we don’t fall victim to our own national struggle.

Trevor Sussey

Saranac Lake

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