On Friday afternoon the railroad crossing arms in downtown Forney malfunctioned, again. At approximately 3:22pm the City issued the following statement on it’s Facebook page, “RAILROAD UPDATE: All railroad crossings in downtown are currently shut down, due to arm malfunction. We have notified Union Pacific and they are in route”.
As the traffic begin to stack up on both sides of the tracks, a few citizens took it upon themselves to try to alleviate the problem by going to the malfunctioning arms and raising them so traffic could flow. Urban heroes.!! Short lived however when Union Pacific employees did not share their same enthusiasm and notified Forney police. Upon their arrival, the Forney police began detaining the “urban heroes” and ultimately issued them citations.
Within minutes of all of this commotion, the City of Forney released a photo of Forney police Chief Rob Sherwin doing the same thing as our “urban heroes”, and praising him for holding up the malfunctioning railroad arms.
If the “urban heroes” were wrong and their actions warranted a citation, so be it. But the City should have used this as a teachable moment to alert citizens that this action was dangerous and against the law instead of heaping praise on Chief Sherwin. And “if” Chief Sherwin had permission from Union Pacific to hold up the malfunctioning arms, and he was in constant contact with railroad dispatch insuring that no trains were headed this way, then the City should have made that known as well.
Teachable moments don’t come around often ……