We Need More C.O.P.S. --Citizens Offering Police Support

Yesterday was one of those days. There was talk about citizens organizing a support group for police officers and then there was a rumor about a special called meeting. Neither panned out. I called the Lumberton Libray to see if a notice was posted. It was after 4:00 pm and I know if the notice wasn't posted by then, there wasn't going to be a 6:00 meeting. There was another rumor circulating, saying there's not enough money in the budget to pay any part time police officers. So let me get this straight, at the last board meeting, no one had a clue about what funds were in the budget but this week, there's enough specific knowledge to know that there's less than $100 available to pay part time police officers. How is that possible? All employees are paid from the general fund and some employees are paid from the general fund and the WSOM account. So if there's not enough money to pay police officers, there's not enough money to pay anyone, including the elected officials. Something is not adding up.

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.

Comments

  1. I wish I could attend but I will be at work which is probably why they picked such a early time. I hope people support the police department because it's dangerous out there and they need back up. I'm sure these officers are constantly thinking about what happened in Hattiesburg. I find it strange that money is available to protect a lying, saddle bag tramp like Merlene but none is available for the police department.

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  2. Now let's get this straight all employees are paid from the general fund NOOOOOOO. no employee of the public works department is paid from general fund in this budget I've got an idea let's just shut the water off and do away with the public works dept would you and everyone be satisfied if they done this two yes two not four like last year are cutting grass plus there was help from inmates which I understand are not available this year what I am getting to is this it takes all depts working together to keep lumberton going find out what the he'll you are saying before you run off at the mouth

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