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2014-07-17

Open letter to City of Bandera residents

By Amanda Wedgworth Special to the Courier

I am writing this letter to inform city administrators and elected officials that I will be resigning as a deputy marshal for the City of Bandera effective immediately. I am a six-year law enforcement veteran and hold the title of intermediate peace officer, as well as numerous other valuable certifications.
My goals when I came to the City of Bandera were to implement, along with Marshal Charlie Hicks and Chief Deputy Scott MacNaughton, a number of community-oriented programs to benefit the citizens of both the city and county of Bandera. A number of these programs, specifically directed at county schools, went above and beyond the usual programs that law enforcement typically provides. I had already begun talking with Marshal Hicks about their implementation.
That being said, recent actions by city council and mayor have further stereotyped this community and its government to neighboring county and municipal governments. I feel if I were to stay with the City of Bandera, that I absolutely would not be protected from further acts of sexual harassment. In addition, I feel that a precedent has been set and further acts would continue against me and other female employees.
I chose to volunteer my time in an attempt to make the City of Bandera a safer place for everyone to visit and live. As a peace officer, I voluntarily placed my life on the line for a community in which I do not live. The city council and mayor repaid me by condoning a situation that had made me feel uncomfortable, offended and humiliated.
I truly care about law enforcement and public service and know that I am a valuable asset to the profession. I refuse to give my time to - and possibly my life for - a municipality that condones and accepts such a deplorable act that another city employee subjected me to. I refuse to give my time to - and possibly my life for - a municipality that excuses such acts because they seemed to be the very nature of the individual who committed the act.
I will be eternally grateful for the way Marshal Hicks, City Administrator Lamar Schulz and Chief Deputy MacNaughton addressed the situation and believe the initial outcome was just. However, I will not back down from what I know to be right. I will continue to try to improve the quality of life for people who live elsewhere in the Texas Hill Country.