We Need More C.O.P.S. --Citizens Offering Police Support
We have 4 more months left in this budget year and for months the police chief has been asking about what's in the budget. Now, all of a sudden, the numbers are in and the only department that has no money is the police department. Keep in mind, all employees are paid in part or fully from the general fund. Also keep in mind that there's enough money to fund budget training, security camers and grass cutters that's barely cutting the grass but police protection, ummmmmm, there's no money for that. Guess what, everybody knows how Lumberton gets once school is out and everyone, including the criminals, know that protecting the citizens and few remaining businesses are not a priority. Where is the money and why are the police department the only department affected? There's money constantly trickling in. There's the ad valoureum tax, money from the sale of car tags and some money from land taxes because some people opt to pay their taxes in quarterly installments. So, there's money coming in but it's apparently not getting allocated to the areas that matter.
Just last week, we witnessed how police officers from all over the country offered support to the City of Hattiesburg as they laid to rest two officers that were murdered in the line of duty. It's sad to see that departments are supported by agencies outside the state but here we have a local department that's neither valued or supported by their local governing officials but they want them at the board meetings, offering protection for them while basically telling the citizens to eat cake. Saying you support the police is one thing but until you put the money next to your vote, it's just lip service. This board has constantly taken from tne citizens and the police department. Just a few months ago, Mayor Winston bullied the board into taking a truck the police department seized and gave it to the public works department. That truck cost the police department around $4,500 but when it was transferred to another department, the money taken from the police department was never put back. In essence, they lost money and a reliable mode of transportation. I don't know about you, but $4,500 would definitely help the police department right about now. There's suppose to be a budget workshop today at 6:00 pm. It would be nice to see a room full of concerned citizens showing up to support the police department. Also, anyone with news connections, you may want to call them so the board can explain why they don't value police protection. If they can travel to Jackson in an attempt to secure a loan for sewer pipes, they can make the same efforts to find funding for the police department. This board put us in this situation because they didn't want to raise taxes. They created this mess. Now it's up to them to figure out how they're going to make bricks without straw.