This letter is in response to the recent submission to SpeakOut concerning the Charleston Department of Public Safety. The caller to SpeakOut stated that every time they drive by the Charleston police station, all they see are parked cars and that they therefore believe that the Charleston police are not doing anything. This could not be further from the truth.
The Mississippi County Prosecuting Attorney's office works hand in hand with the Charleston Department of Public Safety. These officers are hard working and put in long hours. At the present time, the Mississippi County Prosecuting Attorney's office is actively prosecuting over 323 felony cases and over 140 misdemeanor cases. Of these cases, the Charleston Department of Public Safety investigated approximately 242 of the felonies and 119 of the misdemeanors. The quality of these investigations is second to none.
At any one time, Charleston Department of Public Safety has at least four officers on duty and active patrol with other officers at the station. For a city the size of Charleston, the ratio of active officers to residents of the community is actually quite high. In fact, the ratio of Charleston police officers to Charleston residents is higher in fact than that of many large American cities.
However, a lot of the work done by police officers goes unnoticed by the general community. Often police officers are called into situations where the average citizen would never be found. Police duties are varied. Sometimes an officer may be on active patrol driving through the community or they may be at the station interviewing witnesses or suspects. At other times officers are required to be in court to testify. In addition, whenever a case is investigated, the police officer is required to complete a detailed report of what occurred.
I would encourage anyone who is concerned about their community to take an active role in trying to better the community. Get involved in church groups or civic organizations. We must all work together to make our communities better places. If you are concerned about the police department, next time you see a police officer, ask that officer about their work and how you might be able to help them.
Simply seeing a parked police car at the police station does not mean the community is not being protected. Police Chief Paul Johnson is doing an outstanding job organizing, managing and operating the Charleston Department of Public Safety and the officers under his command are working extremely hard and doing a good job.
Jennifer B. Raffety, prosecuting attorney
Gregory B. Spencer, assistant prosecuting attorney
In a yard I pass on my way to work is a sign in favor of Jean Carnahan's campaign for the Senate and one stating that the people of the household vote pro-life. You cannot vote pro-life AND support Jean Carnahan.
In several political discussions I have had recently I have heard people say that they really do not vote for a particular party. They will vote for the candidate they like best.
These two situations present a clear picture of the education that voters need in order to make an informed decision at the polls.
The two political parties are distinctly different and offer voters two clear sides of major issues. And, regardless of what candidates say while campaigning, when it comes down to a vote in Jefferson City or Washington, D.C., the candidate will ALWAYS vote with his or her political party.
I encourage voters to examine the issues and then decide which party best reflects their Christian morals and values.