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Town to Convert Only Library into Police Station

Residents of McFarland, a small town in California’s central valley, are upset over potential plans to replace the town’s only library with a police station. The Clara Jackson Branch Library is only open Thursdays and Fridays from noon to six, because that’s how much the county can afford to run it. Still, librarian Frank Cervantes said that demand was so high when it reopened after an extended pandemic-related closure that “as soon as I unlocked the doors, so many people came in that they nearly knocked me down.”

Many express their disapproval of the plan. 11-year-old, Analuz Hernandez said, “We’re surrounded by a bunch of land! They can’t build something new on all that land?”

City Manager Kenny Williams also serves as Police Chief. He says the need for a library is eclipsed by other public safety needs. “It does provide some service, but sometimes you have to judge what’s most important. When it comes to the library and public safety and comparing the use of the library building, [residents] recognize we have an issue with crime. We would use that building 24/7.”

Adult resident Angie Maldonado says the library has been a staple in the community since its opening back in 1994. “We have nothing else here for kids. We have no theater. You take this out, kids either stay home bored or go out on the streets.”

Local pastor Phil Corr agrees. “It’s an injustice to go after a vulnerable place. It’s logically and morally wrong. The police do need a larger place, and this building is ideally located. But it’s also ideally located for kids.”

Possible Preaching Angle:

It's important to keep the community safe, but we can't let the fear of evildoers prevent us from promoting communal flourishing. In uncertain times, communities should turn back to the old ways of trusting God for wisdom and guidance in decision making.

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