Although I did not attend the mayor's conference on crime Monday nor have I been at any of the meetings concerning this issue in Columbia, I have followed closely the results unfolding as they happened around our city leaders and toward our communities within Columbia.
I have held the stance that the solution is in quality and quantity of our police force and I have been most critical of the chief of police, even to the extent to suggest he be terminated and have even termed him "ineffective."
Yet, watching the news, I see a chief who is determined to do the right thing. He appears neither arrogant nor self-serving in his body language in the photographs. He is at the back of the room, quietly serving, and not in the limelight at all. But it was his study, his effort, his stand for it against all odds, and his seeing it through to reality. That takes real character to the positive.
That is the hero status we prayed for in our town; the determination to see the study he made, several years back, come into existence with the addition of more officers in our town.
I have made myself safe on my street. The police refused to do that. But, we can all do that. Maybe we will have to do that for the time being. We cannot help the gossip and the made-up lies, when we know they are not true anyway.
But in the photographs, and in the mayor's words, I have been convinced that we have a chief of police who is of the highest character, and the answer to our prayers after all — someone who is willing to stand up for the count, no matter the criticism he must take to do so.
I recant my stance on getting rid of him. I fully support the mayor, the council and the chief on this, as I originally did before the events that unfolded on my street.
City leaders, thank you for putting in the time and effort to help bring Columbia back from the street thugs. Tax hike willingly accepted here, as a property owner in Columbia.
Celebrate, Chief. You have earned it! Let's get the message out to the thugs who come in from elsewhere, as well as the ones homegrown. Columbia citizens, taxpayers, property owners are willing to pay the extra tax to keep the $100,000-officer upkeep to stop the shootings every six days in this town. Parents, know where your underage offspring are at all time. You are responsible for them and their whereabouts, not the innocent people in this town who have to suffer from the behavior you unleash on us in your offspring. You should be convicted with them, for sheer negligence, every time one of your children gets in trouble in this town. Be aware we are not your babysitters, and you should love your children enough to "practice tough love" when the occasion demands it, like the criminal activity you allow them to wander into, and then whine they are a victim to the rest of us.
And, not only that, we are keeping ourselves safe in our own homes from those who intrude and break the law and then lie to the police, trying to manipulate the very police that are hired to protect the innocent people who have to endure the lawbreakers/liars.
Thank you, city leaders. Job well done!Delcia Crockett is a Columbia resident.