A not-so-old possibility was revisited last week during a planning session by the Bladen County Board of Commissioners, but the results were curiously the same.
About six months ago, Bladen Community College President William Findt spoke to the county about the possibility of opening a Bladen County Sheriff’s Office substation in East Arcadia, where BCC also has a satellite campus. Findt reportedly told the county the Sheriff’s Office substation could share space in the building being leased by BCC.
The opportunity to locate a law enforcement presence in the remote part of the county seemed, on the surface, to be a worthy idea. But for some members of the community there, for whatever reasons, the sheriff’s deputies weren’t wanted and the entire idea was nixed.
Last week, the idea resurfaced.
While we were unable to attend the planning session, we have had a number of folks who brought the issue to us — each one stunned at the outcome and with a jaundiced eye toward the possible reasons, of which several have been suggested.
Let us first say the county or its Sheriff’s Office doesn’t need anyone’s permission to locate a substation in any community it serves. If there is a perceived need and the opportunity is there, then a substation should be a reality regardless of what the local residents or community leaders say. To back off such an opportunity is akin to the tail wagging the dog or, perhaps a better analogy, the inmates running the asylum.
We will also offer up the opinion that a law enforcement substation in East Arcadia would give residents there a tremendous amount of benefits. In an area that has long complained about the lack of EMS presence, putting additional law enforcement coverage there would help to soothe those concerns.
Also, we are secure in the thinking that, if Findt felt there was a valid reason to locate a Sheriff’s Office substation in East Arcadia, and the county was willing, then it should have become a done deal.
But here’s where the jaundiced eyes come in. Some think the movers and shakers in that area have concerns about racial profiling and general harassment of the black community becoming a real possibility. Knowing many of those employed by the Sheriff’s Office as we do, that kind of thinking is not only silly and sad, but nowhere near justified.
Let’s face the facts here — property crime, domestic violence and drugs are a part of the fabric in every community regardless of size, racial or ethnic make up. There are 26 miles between Elizabethtown and East Arcadia, which puts deputies 20 minutes away under the most perfect of circumstances.
If Findt and the county are still serious about locating a substation in East Arcadia, we urge them to do it.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
“Common sense is like deodorant … the people who need it most never use it.” (Unknown)