Death of a Department
I have been trying to find the words to describe/ encompass how I'm feeling. Today, the mayor and board of alderpersons will put the final nail in the coffin of police protection for the City of Lumberton. It saddens me thatmmore people are not concerned about the ramifications of this decision to essentially leave Lumberton unprotected. It feels like the board is thrusting us into a movie; a cross between The Purge and Alien vs. Predator. Not only are they endangering the residents and local businesses but they're endangering the lives of the officers that are being forced to patrol alone for 12 hours. The saddest part of this decision is the fact that no one knows how this happened or they're just not willing to discuss this matter with concerned citizens. The meeting that was recessed will reconvene this afternoon but it seems more like a memorial service than a meeting.
I just don't understand how a mayor that prays for a city on Main Street every Saturday doesn't seem to be bothered by preying on a department that's essential for the safety of this city. What business would want to establish themselves in a city without adequant police protection? How can an alderman volunteer to help raise funds to help a city museum put an entire department on the back burner? How can an alderwoman at large see the need for a good pantry but downplay the need for a fully staffed police department? It don't make any sense. This is possibly the best group of officers to patrol the streets of Lumberton in a long time and now the board is ready to discard ofthem like yesterday's newspaper. These officers served valiantly and are very active within the community. I have seen officers playing basketball with the youth throughout the city. These officers have used their own money to pay for the expenses associated with Easter egg hunts and day in the park activities. We have officers that are making connections in the community; connections that could change the direction of a young person's life. I don't know anyone that like getting a ticket but that's a part of their job. Over the past week, officers have been reporting toawork knowing their was a chance they would not get paid but they believe in the oath they took to serve and to protect. If only our elected officials took their oath of office as seriously as many of our police officers. Today it saddens me that our board is looking at a budget instead of looking past the badges to see that their decision will affect families, safety and security of this city. I wish there was something I could do but I want every officer to know that their services are greatly appreciated.