I will admit that I was a little late to the party in regards to Karens. I had heard the term for months but I was not really sure who or to what it was in reference. For those as equally out of touch with the verbiage of our youth as I am, a Karen, according to the Urban Dictionary is, “The stereotypical name associated with rude, obnoxious and insufferable middle-aged white women.” Mind you, before some Karen writes a letter to the editor, that is not my definition.

Finally, I was able to locally spot the activity of a Karen.

The Brunswick Police Department made note this week of an event that they participated in on Perryman Drive off of the Gurnet Road. By the looks of the event, it was great. Kids played and met some of the members of the Brunswick Police Department, both in and out of uniform. While the weather was very hot and humid these kids and the officers enjoyed getting to know each other. It was evident that each group came away with something from the event.

The Brunswick Police Department has had its share of news stories in the last couple of months. First, there were stories about how they responded to the unrest and protests. Then there were several stories about the retirement of the Chief and an ushering in of new leadership. All the while the men and women patrolling the streets of Brunswick have done their part to keep miscreants at bay and crime at a low level.

This event, and the participation of the police, was part of bringing the larger community together to celebrate all the good that surrounds us and to rejoice that while these days are different, we can all work as one. Not to mention that this particular neighborhood was being celebrated while it is often forgotten about for reasons that townspeople know all too well.

While the Police Department was touting the success of the event and the fun that their officers had in participating several Karens were lying in wait.

Not long after the post hit the PD’s social media page, a well-known Brunswick resident took the officers to task for not wearing face masks. Most of the dozens of comments were positive in nature and focused on how this event could form a bridge between the police and the people that they serve and protect.

However, this former elected official doubled down and chastised the police for not social distancing and putting others at risk because of the pandemic. Let’s not lose sight of the fact that as of today, there have only been 23 positive cases in all of Brunswick. Yes, that means that if you knew a thousand people in Brunswick, you had one thousand friends, that one of them may have COVID-19. Maybe.

In Brunswick, there is a far higher likelihood that you could have been arrested since the start of the pandemic. Since the beginning of the pandemic, 61 people have enjoyed the cool feel of metallic bracelets around their wrists for all manner of crimes. During this event, the public was not in any real danger and they avoided having a new piece of jewelry precisely because it was a good time.

Yet, the Karens chastised and shamed the police department.

Not wanting to make waves, the PD removed their post from their social media page and replaced it with an apology of sorts. Gone were the pictures of people having a good time. Gone was the spirit of community.

The replacement post stated that the pandemic, “has taken a toll on our youth and the intent was to provide a positive experience for the community.” The post then went on to say that the BPD had, “re-examined its practices” in light of the orders from the Governor and that face covering protocols would be adhered to going forward.

Gone was the sunshine and smiles. Gone was the sense of community.

I understand the reaction from the police department. Sometimes people, even Karens, can hold great influence over places like Town Hall. But, sometimes bringing community together, if only for an afternoon, can bring more positives than the negative of a remote chance of getting sick.

The Brunswick Police Department is a class act as a department with many fine officers. They did not deserve to be ridiculed and questioned by a handful of people. Thankfully, as judged by the comments on the new post there are scores of people who applaud the department for their sense of community.

I guess we should all remember that there really are Karens among us. Be careful.

Jonathan Crimmins can be reached at [email protected]

Comments are not available on this story.

filed under: