To the editor:
I was last home in May of 2011 and was surprised at how much the Laurinburg police and Scotland County Sheriff’s departments had grown since I graduated high school in 1980. Why is that?
The population of Scotland County hasn’t grown much if any at all in 30 years. I have my theories on that and they all revolve around the high taxes imposed on Scotland county residents to support what has the be the largest number of county government employees per capita in the state, but let’s focus on the law enforcement side first and see if resident didn’t make a mistake years ago when they voted not to merge the city and county law enforcement agencies. Vist Department of Justice website: www.theiacp.org/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=LF7xdWl1tPk%3D&tabid=87 and you can look at your local law enforcement calendars produced by the police and sheriff departments and do the math yourself.
Just taking a glance at the calendars I saw during my last visit, I would wager a guess that Scotland county law enforcement is right around the 2.5 full time officers per 1,000 residents as the statistics suggest, however what is easily missed is how much more Scotland county residents pay for supporting a separate police for the city and sheriff departments for the county.
Why is it more costly? Simply put, why pay for two CEO’s or heads of law enforcement agencies when you can eliminate the redundancy. I believe the merger of city and county law enforcement is way overdue in the smallest county in the State. Maybe the voters should take another look at this issue after over 30 years and decide if it makes better economic sense now than it did back then. These are hard times and every option should be examined before asking residents to pay more in taxes. I would love to read a logical rebuttal to my opinion. Make an argument that will persuade me to change my mind. I look forward to reading what you have to say.