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Copyright vEsti24
Apr 17 2012
Town Hall Meeting Provides Few Answers About Murders PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 17 April 2012

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            Monday night more than 200 people showed up at the Gerald C. Wilson Auditorium for a town hall meeting organized by the U.S. Coast Guard as a response to last week's double homicide at the Communications Station. In addition to Coast Guard officers, there were police, city, school district and mental health professionals on stage.

            Base Support Unit Captain Karl Moore made an opening statement saying the purpose of the meeting was to try and provide answers to questions citizens might have.


-- (Town Hall 1                       45 sec              "If anybody's ever heard me ... some of the same questions.")


            Most of the questions asked during the meeting were along the lines of, "The FBI keeps telling us we're safe, but they're not telling us why we're safe." Moore said after the meeting he trusted the FBI's assurances that the community at large was not in any danger, but could not say why:


-- (Town Hall 2                       35 sec              "I think the major message ... all of that kind of thing.")


            Communications Station Commander Peter Van Ness said it is hard for him also to simply be told to be patient:


-- (Town Hall 3                       47 sec              "We ask lots of questions and ... thought-out information.")


            The FBI, which is leading the investigation, did not have a representative at the meeting. Moore was asked if he felt frustrated over the lack of information coming from the FBI:


-- (Town Hall 4                       31 sec              "I don't know if ‘frustrating' is ... not the word for that.")


            KMXT had planned to broadcast the town hall meeting, however the Coast Guard asked us not to air it just before it was scheduled to begin. Captain Moore was asked about that decision by an audience member:


-- (Town Hall 5                       33 sec              "When we air things live on ... microphone and talk then.")


            There will be a memorial service for the two men killed at the ComSta, Petty Officer 1st Class James Hopkins, a 41-year-old electronics technician, and Richard Belisle, a 51-year-old civilian employee and retired Coast Guard chief petty officer. It will be held at 1 p.m. Wednesday in Hangar 3 on the base. The public is invited.




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