Keeping safety, rights in check

Published 9:10am Wednesday, September 25, 2013

But take a look at recent Columbus police reports and one sees statistics our staff thinks show legitimate reasons for toughly scrutinizing traffic, especially near I-26. Chief Chris Beddingfield recently reported the arrests of three gang members through vehicle stops. One Crip gang member was a fugitive, possessed drugs, committed several traffic offenses and was carrying a gun. A Sur 13 gang member from Hendersonville was charged with possession of a firearm by a felon and fugitive.

In years past, the Columbus police department has recovered thousands of dollars in drug money, drugs and weapons. Sure there are incentives for them doing so – they recoup a percentage of the money and can use it to purchase items such as new firearms. But this creates at least two incentives for residents – offset costs for equipment and overall community safety.

These individuals being caught are often not small time criminals. We’re talking about repeat offenders coming through our area who have committed serious crimes. Without these traffic stops these criminals would likely not have been caught. We’re also talking about impaired drivers who could critically injure other motorists, people you and I care about deeply.

This is the job we pay our law enforcement members to do.

- The Tryon Daily Bulletin Editorial Staff


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