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Rural Mayor to Cops: Do Not Chase Criminals

Mayor Sallie Peake of Wellford, South Carolina, is no fan of police officers’ obligation to uphold the law.

by
Jack Dunphy

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September 28, 2009 - 12:57 am
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Far be it from me, who has spent the better part of three decades working as a police officer, to encourage anyone to take up a life of crime. But for anyone already disposed toward such a life, a golden opportunity briefly presented itself in the rural burg of Wellford, South Carolina. Mind you, this is no insult to the police officers of Wellford, all of whom I’m sure are dedicated public servants doing their absolute best to protect the town’s 2,000 inhabitants and their hard-earned property.

But a police force, whether in a city as large as Los Angeles or as small as Wellford, is after all an arm of the local political structure, and the evidence would lead the prudent observer to conclude that the political structure of Wellford, S.C., is on less than solid ground. The good people of Wellford, it would seem, have gone and elected a lunatic as mayor.

Strong language, you say. And indeed it is, but I have the evidence to back it up, courtesy of WSPA television, the CBS affiliate serving Spartanburg County, S.C. On September 18, WSPA reporter Chris Cato went to Wellford to speak with Mayor Sallie Peake, who had issued a directive to the effect that Wellford’s police officers should not engage in foot pursuits, as they often result in injuries to officers and an increase in the cash-strapped town’s workmen’s compensation premiums. A description of the interview would never come within a mile of doing it justice; watch it for yourself here, and see if you don’t agree that you have just beheld what may be Mother Nature’s last word in madness. One must wonder about the deficiencies in the rest of the field in the municipal election that thrust Ms. Peake into the mayor’s chair. One also suspects that Mr. Cato, directly upon leaving the mayor’s office, went to some local watering hole and pondered his choice of career over some strong drink.

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