Jonesboro Police Chief and Mayor Respond to Perception of A Supposed Rift

Perception is reality” – American political strategist Lee Atwater

Most people believe this is true but is it really? According to Ph. D Jim Taylor, a contributing columnist for Psychology Today, in actuality this aphorism is often used to justify a perception that may be objectively unjustifiable or just plain out of touch with reality.

“Perception acts as a lens through which we view reality,” said Taylor. “Our tendency is to assume that how we perceive reality is an accurate representation of what reality truly is.

Among the residents of the town of Jonesboro there is perception that there is a serious rift between Mayor Leslie Thompson and Police Chief James “Spike” Harris. This was brought to the forefront during the most recent meeting of the Jonesboro Board of Aldermen held on July 14th. In this instance, even if the perception is a reality, both agree that they must work together for the betterment of the town.

“It is no secret that in the past our Mayor tried to defund the Police Department which caused us to have opposite opinions,” said Harris. “Regardless, our opinions don’t matter. My only focus is to enforce the laws and ordinances of this town that have been set forth and this is what I intend to do.”

Mayor Thompson echoed those sentiments in a statement he made during the Town Council meeting.

“As stated in the Larson Act the Police Chief does not answer to the Mayor but to the people of the town he was elected by” Thompson responded to a person commenting at the meeting. “Any problems between the Chief and I would only impeded progress so it is my hopes that we can work together to continue to move the town forward.”

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