Your opinion: Jan.6, 2018

Published 10:21 am Monday, January 8, 2018

Re: Deputies incident story
Total frustration and anger! In the past, we have called the Sumter County Sheriff’s office requesting increased surveillance when were leaving town for an extended period. Now we find that what we were doing was alerting the CRIMINALS in that department of the opportunity to break into our home at will!
What other conclusion can one possibly draw from the events reported in the subject article?
It is incomprehensible that the actions of Cpl. Scott Daniel, Deputy Joshua McClung, and Deputy Jordan Ball could be considered other than criminally breaking and entering Southland Academy. They were also thereby in violation of  their Oath of Office. By their neglect of their assigned duty to protect the citizens of Americus, they were also guilty, of Dereliction of Duty. Those conclusions are based on common sense, decency, and morality, not the so-called legal definitions applied by lawyers.
Sgt. Jim Bass is no less guilty of Dereliction of Duty than the three burglars because he failed in his responsibility to maintain supervision. He should have been, at the very least, demoted immediately.
All four of those individuals were guilty of what may be a more disgraceful act than any other: Setting an abominable example for the youth of the community: “Do what you like; if you get caught, it’ll be OK…”. Albeit, they are well practiced at such example setting: When was the last time anyone saw a law enforcement vehicle obeying a posted speed limit? Does anyone think kids don’t notice?
And the Headmaster of Southland Academy certainly hasn’t set a sterling example for the students there by allowing the criminals to go unpunished: “Do what you like; if you get caught, it’ll be OK…”.
Similarly, Sheriff Pete Smith certainly sets a fine example for other law enforcement officers, and other citizens, especially young ones, by the extremely lenient punishment meted out. Demotion and/or immediate firing would have be more appropriate.
I recognize that it’s difficult to hire, train, and retain good officers. But I don’t think this incident and its results will encourage good people to want to join the department.
One thing for sure, as things now stand, we will NOT be alerting the sheriff’s department when we’re going to be away.
Ken Henderson