Thursday, May 25, 2006

And now, some good news...

Part two of the Examiner's three-part series on police chief Wayne Livesay speaks to things he's done I think we all can support:

But Oakland Mills, which once had one of the highest crime rates in the county, has experienced a dramatic reduction in crime under Livesay, the department’s longest-serving police chief.

Between 2002 and 2005, the police department’s statistics have shown drops in:

• Liquor violations by 67 percent

• Trespassing by 53 percent

• Drug violations by 51 percent

• Fight calls by 44 percent

• Breaking and entering and intoxicated subjects by 26 percent;

• Assault calls by 18 percent

• Disorderly conduct calls by 17 percent

The department also conducted major drug sweeps that targeted Oakland Mills among other communities in Columbia, and arrested dozens of dealers, which community leaders said helped improve the atmosphere of the village.

You may disagree with his politics or how he’s handled the last few months, but there’s no discounting the fact that Livesay has done some truly great things in the community. Oakland Mills, my current stomping grounds, is just one example. Other Columbia villages, such as Long Reach and Harpers Choice, as well as North Laurel have benefited from his commitment to community policing strategies, which in addition to keeping more officers on the streets in the neighborhoods, go a long way to fostering strong ties between residents and the police.

If only they had a nicer looking building serving as the Oakland Mills substation…

In some related news, the Flier’s editorial this week calls on Livesay to stop campaigning until he has officially resigned on May 31. Although the sentiment is laudable, shouldn’t this editorial fall into the too little, too late bin? I mean, we’re talking about less than a week. At this point, does it matter?

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