To the editor:
You could hardly turn on the news last week without hearing about Connersville police officer Jeff Counceller and his wife Jennifer who rescued an injured fawn and nursed it back to health.
I received many emails from concerned constituents who believe that the couple was doing the right thing and should not be punished by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources. I, like them, am pleased to see the charges dropped.
I applaud the department for the work they do to protect and preserve Indiana’s natural resources for the benefit of Hoosiers. This story has garnered national media attention, and at least the nation is seeing Hoosiers as kind, caring folk like the Councellers; however, they are viewing our state as a state taking on compassion as a crime.
Our state has bigger issues to tackle. We have an unemployment rate steadily hovering around 8 percent. We need to focus on the things we set out to tackle: jobs, education and the state budget. I am pleased to see common sense prevail on this issue, and we are able to move on and discuss other things with the media.
The speaker of the House raised the issue with the governor as soon as he learned about the Dani situation, since the governor is in charge of the department.
A Facebook page titled “Drop Charges Against Connersville Police Officer” was created to support the Councellers. It gained more than 35,000 “likes” in five days. There was also a petition from change.org with over 35,000 signatures requesting that the department drop the charges.
I have always valued input from my constituents; and in this case, the people have spoken. I admire the Hoosier hospitality that this couple exemplified, and I am pleased by the outcome of this story.
Rep. Woody Burton
Indiana House of Representatives