To the Editor:
I am writing this letter regarding what I recently read about Lt. Eerik Meisner in the paper. As a local business owner, I have had the opportunity to interact with Mr. Meisner and see him interact in an official setting. I have also had the privilege of knowing him as a friend. I can say with the utmost confidence that he is wonderful at both. He is a caring friend and a brilliant officer. He brought experience, knowledge, kindness and compassion to our police force.
I would like to share a story that I heard from one of our officers. I think it perfectly illustrates how Eerik has merged his off-Island community policing and leadership experience with that of our community. In the process of hiring new officers, they were asked a simple question. “Define community policing? And name three businesses and three business owners on Main Street?” To me, as a long-standing community member and a business owner, Eerik’s question struck me as perfectly representing what I want our local police department to be. The kind-hearted interaction I expect from officers in a tourist community. A community of friends and families who have a long history together and who welcome thousands of visitors each season to share our community with.
My family has been on Martha’s Vineyard for a long time and has owned businesses in Tisbury for generations. I have regularly been proud to be a part of our community. It is a beautiful place to live. But I am truly ashamed of the actions of the Town of Tisbury in their treatment of Eerik Meisner. Their behavior is reprehensible and completely counter to the ideals of the community I am proud to call home.