When The Blue Line Is Stretched Too Thin
Less than a day after Mayor Ben Winston refused to break a tie to authorize the hiring of one additional police officer, his nephew allegedly brutally beat a woman and her child. Because of the volatile nature of the call, the officer on duty was waiting for back up from the Lamar County Sheriff's office. According to Mayor Winston, he was assured by Danny Riegel that county officers will be available for assistance since there was it one Lumberton police officer on patrol for 12 hours. If another Lumberton officer was on duty, they could have responded to the call within minutes. Instead, the officer had to wait over 50 minutes for assistance from the county. Time and time again, the board was warned that this could happen but they're so obtuse in their thinking that they could care less. Instead, the board is more concerned that we have grass cutting crews and $6,000 lawn mowers despite the fact that the grass, in certain areas, is not getting cut. So, when the large crew of public workers go home, women, children, elderly and disabled citizens are left with one police officer to patrol the entire city while public works employees can drive around with two or more workers in a truck all day long. Where's the logic in that? I hope the Mayor and Board of Alderpersons are ready to deal with the pending litigation from this failure to properly protect it's citizens. I'm almost certain that this payout is going to exceed the cost of keeping an adequate number of police officers on duty. Hopefully, the assailant was apprehended. I pray that it don't get worse before the board realizes the error in their decision. Surprisingly, the board said we're strapped for money but they have yet to giveIup their salary or insurance. The last administration did work for $1/month but I guess keeping their salary is their main priority.