Monday night’s town hall presentation packed more of a punch than what many were expecting. One of the biggest surprises of the evening had to have been the personal testimony of two high-profile emergency officials. Corsicana Fire Capt. Ron Franks and Corsicana Police Capt. Ken Kirkwood showed a different side of their lives to the audience than what many are accustomed to seeing.

With the drug and alcohol epidemic reaching new levels, these two gruff personalities displayed a genuine emotion and caring for the community.

Kirkwood spoke as both a parent as well as a senior lawman. He paused often, collecting his thoughts and swallowing his tears. Most of the time, the captain is calm, cool and collected. He rarely lets his guard down. But for a couple of minutes, he was just another parent whose kid’s behavior was cause for concern.

Day in and day out, both Franks and Kirkwood see the carnage and devastation that can happen with youth substance abuse. Franks fought the tears that swelled up underneath his eyes when describing what it is like to be a first responder to these types of tragedies.

Kirkwood took part of the blame for his son’s behavior but noted he would do a better job as a parent in the future. He let his true self shine through that night. And the community responded.

All throughout the 70 or so audience chairs set up, residents were also wiping away tears from what they heard from the captain. So many parents, united in a common cause trying their best to make Corsicana a safer place to live.

It was breathtaking.

Not very often am I moved as much as I was that night. Dealing with both of these individuals in a work related manner was a 180 degree difference from the two people I saw on stage that night.

These guys were real, genuine and concerned.

There are a lot of good causes out there. There are a lot of good people being corrupted by others. Though I am not a parent yet, I truly believe the seed has been planted in this community for future generations. I’m glad we have people like these two, who are not afraid to let people know the truth.

And I’m glad they picked that night.

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AJ Narasimhan is a Daily Sun staff writer. His column appears Fridays. He may be contacted via e-mail at ajn@corsicanadailysun.com.

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