Play and Live SAFE

La-Vergne-TN-safest-cities-to-liveWhat a kerfuffle we’ve witnessed this past weekend!  Before we talk about that, let’s share some great news from Safe Choices Security… LaVergne came in at #15 as the safest city to live in Tennessee!!

In our quest to create a thorough listing of safe locations to live and do business in Tennessee, we analyzed the data provided by the 2012 FBI crime statistics. By looking at both property and violent crime statistics and studying them in terms of population and other factors, we compiled a list of the safest cities in the state.

Remember just five years ago when it was a little bit uncomfortable telling people you lived here because of its not-so-sterling reputation? With hard work by the majority of our Board of Mayor and Aldermen and under the leadership of the city administrator, directors, and our police chief, look at us now! We are going in a GREAT direction.

Speaking of safety, did you know that we have only ONE ambulance for a city of nearly 35,000?  We actually should have at least three ambulances to respond to medical emergencies.  But more good news (in case you didn’t already know this).  Our firefighters trained as medical responders two years ago. With an average of a three minute response time, we are grateful to see these men (and now women volunteers) drive up to a scene when every second counts. We have heard from the fire chief that at least three lives have been saved because of this.  We aren’t certain if police are fully trained in medical response, but they are also able to provide first aid services such as AED’s – or automated external defibrillators.  *This is why any time an ambulance is called, you will see a fire truck and a police car roll up.

Okay now on to the kerfuffle.

The city has for years and years and years hosted a 5K called Howl at the Moon on the night of the full moon in August. Money raised at this race goes toward events and programming for the city, which could include summer camp for kids, 4th of July festivities, movies in the park, trail of treats, etc. Everyone should know about this race by now.

Sadly two years ago LaVergne resident Taylor Filorimo died at the young age of 16 from childhood cancer. Her legacy is the Play 4 Tay Foundation to help families of children with cancer pay for some of the horrific expenses they must endure.

We fast forward to this past Friday night when the LaVergne Police and Fire Departments – under the leadership of Chief Mike Walker and Chief Rick McCormick and with the extensive help of the Parks & Rec Department – hosted a 5K race, which was the two year anniversary of Taylor’s death. The race was shared extensively on most social media sites, posters were hung throughout the city, and the notice of traffic delays announced on the city billboard. Essentially, more than adequate notice was given.

We recognize that people have their own lives that they focus on, many times ignoring the numerous notifications and invitations. We recognize that on Friday nights, most people just want to go home without the hassle of traffic.  However, traffic is a reality in middle Tennessee but when people complain, mostly what you see are photos of cars stopped with captions like “Ugh!” or “I have to pee and this!”  What you don’t see is outright rage like we witnessed this weekend when the city diverted traffic in order to host a race for childhood cancer in memory of one of our own who lost her battle with cancer.

We have to ask… what is wrong with you people? People feel perfectly comfortable going online and complaining to the wrong people about the wrong thing. But we never see any of you at city meetings. We never see your applications for city boards and committees. (There are at least four committees with openings right now and half of them remain open because no one will apply.) We have heard comments directed at the residents of Lake Forest because the children of that area with a population of about 10,000 got a playground. We have heard lies about the city debt being $80 million. Well how’s this. We offer a challenge to those of you who tend to look at the negative rather than getting involved in effecting positive change (not just voting, but rolling up your sleeves and getting involved)… how about trying to find some compassion in your hearts (and some will have to dig deep).  Show some kindness to your fellow citizens, neighbors, and mankind, would you? We are absolutely not talking about everyone here, but there are a handful of folks whose primary focus is to spread hate and discontent – something we find disgusting and more than a little bit sad if that’s how you choose to live your lives. Maybe our message here comes directly from the motto of a little girl who lived her short life to the fullest.  Her courageous motto was, “I will NOT let the FEAR of cancer STRIKE me out.” We can all learn from her. Put your fear, put your hatred, put your slacktivism to rest and get involved.

If you want to donate to the Play4Tay foundation, click here to learn how.

What’s on your mind, LaVergne?

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