SC

SC Lawmakers Sticking It To Cops

THIS IS HOW CORE GOVERNMENT FUNCTIONS ARE TREATED IN THE PALMETTO STATE No matter how far to the right of the political spectrum you are (and this website holds down the extreme right flank here in South Carolina), we should all be able to agree that “cops and courts” are…

THIS IS HOW CORE GOVERNMENT FUNCTIONS ARE TREATED IN THE PALMETTO STATE

No matter how far to the right of the political spectrum you are (and this website holds down the extreme right flank here in South Carolina), we should all be able to agree that “cops and courts” are core functions of government.

Law enforcement is absolutely necessary when it comes to preserving private property rights and individual liberties – while our court system is absolutely necessary when it comes to holding people accountable for infringing upon this rights and liberties.

What should government do beyond these core functions?  Not much, in our estimation …

Yet while we support draconian spending cuts and reductions in government at all levels, we also support providing government officials who are actually performing core functions with the tools they need – and paying them the salaries and benefits they deserve.

South Carolina’s “Republican-controlled” General Assembly doesn’t feel the same way, though …

While pie-in-the-sky “economic development” boondoggles like the University of South Carolina’s spectacularly-failed “Innovista” project get a steady stream of recurring tax dollars, state lawmakers habitually force our police officers to rely on increases in fees and fines on the people whose lives, freedoms and possessions they are charged with protecting.  And then when budget times are tight, law enforcement is invariably one of the first things placed on the chopping block – because politicians know that people will support spending increases if they are led to believe such increases are essential to their safety.

It’s a scam … but the GOP has proven every bit as good at running this racket here in South Carolina as the Democrats.

Adding insult to this indignity?  A recent amendment to the state’s corrupt-as-hell pension fund will force police officers to pay 7.84 percent of their salary into retirement benefits as opposed to the 7.5 percent paid by other government employees (including all of those “economic development” boondogglers).

What the hell?

Understandably, law enforcement peeps were pissed.

“Nobody is getting rich in the police business, our retirement check won’t even keep us above the poverty level,” one law enforcement source told FITS. “To further gut what is arguably one of the primary jobs of local government for the sake of being ‘fair’ to all of the employees of government is the most cowardly thing I have seen.”

This cop is absolutely correct …

South Carolina’s “Republican-controlled” government loves to dole out exorbitant salaries, benefits and pensions to useless bureaucrats who do nothing but waste tax dollars on totally unnecessary tasks – but when it comes time to provide a reasonable benefit to those who put their lives on the line performing a core function, they shaft them.

Shameful …

***

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48 comments

? December 13, 2012 at 12:44 pm

“Law enforcement is absolutely necessary when it comes to preserving private property rights and individual liberties ”

Arbitration corporations, ADR. etc. say otherwise…and gun owners too.

:)

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fitsnews Author December 13, 2012 at 1:18 pm

anybody can get shot – and/ or stabbed – in the back.

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? December 13, 2012 at 1:23 pm

Yep, with our without cops.

:)

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? December 13, 2012 at 1:23 pm

edit: “or”

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Smirks December 13, 2012 at 1:32 pm

Count me out when someone holes themselves up in a bank with a gun and hostages. I’ll leave that shit up to the people with training and bulletproof vests, and I’m sure the hostages would rather have an efficient rescue team than amateur hour from the gun range.

“People with guns” justice is just going to be vigilante justice. Courts and cops aren’t perfect but a trial is better than someone taking justice into their own hands.

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? December 13, 2012 at 1:38 pm

“Count me out when someone holes themselves up in a bank with a gun and hostages.”

Yeah, banks would probably start hiring armed security guards to handle that…just guessing though.

I’d imagine if banks had armed security guards there would be a lot less robberies than now.

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Mark December 13, 2012 at 2:48 pm

question mark…you really don’t know what a bank security officer’s duty is do you? Do you honestly believe they would unholster their firearm and start blazing away with a room full of customers?

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Smirks December 13, 2012 at 3:15 pm

Just about any business having to rely on security guards due to no police presence would dramatically raise the price of goods and services. Nothing is stopping banks from hiring security guards and putting them at every branch now, but they don’t do it because it is too costly and police forces supply a level of enforcement that ensures most robbers are thrown in prison, even if it is after the fact.

Having security in every bank would also raise the amount of force necessary to overpower said guards and pull off a successful robbery. At that point, any bank whose guards are overpowered are then being robbed by extremely dangerous thugs, probably in groups and probably with more powerful weapons than your standard stocking-wearing moron with a written note and a pencil behind his jacket.

Of course, once the security guards are dead, we’re back at square one, hoping a brave soul with a suicide wish and quite possibly questionable aim can save the day, if such a person is even there. Unless the security guard company has a small army and a huge arsenal, at which point I’d start questioning if a private entity with such resources following a profit motive would be any more preferable to a public entity with such resources.

I see more consequences than benefits.

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? December 13, 2012 at 3:22 pm

What difference does it make what the “goal” of a bank security officer is?

One bank might decide that its customers are most important under such circumstances and have him there in case the robber decides to start shooting.

Another bank might decide the money is most important and train their guard accordingly.

Yet another might decide it’s a combination of the two and let the security guard decide during the crisis.

The point is, people can use/choose which bank they want depend on their own decisions and the banks get a choice on whether it’s a shootout or managed crisis.

Either way it’s better than what we have now…which is no one with guns in banks most of the time other than robbers; then it’s up to whatever the robber wants to do until the police show up.

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? December 13, 2012 at 3:29 pm

That response was for “Mark” btw.

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Original Good Old Boy December 13, 2012 at 3:58 pm

Without law enforcement, I think war lords would fill the voids, as they have typically done throughout history when central governent does not exist or is too weak to enforce its laws in the area.

(I’m not sure whether abandoning law enforcement is actually being argued, but if it is, put me in the group that believes they are necessary)

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?: December 13, 2012 at 6:28 pm

I was almost done trolling until OGOB came along.

1st, we have a *warlord* to fill the vaucum, its called the Federal Govt.

:)

2nd, in my many travels in different countries in C. & S. America I found driving & riding around to be fun in the countries with no traffic light or lines painted on the roads and no cops. Somehow I managed to be OK(no accidents) and traffic flowed quite nicely is most areas.

It is not as drastic as many people think. Most of my *unpleasant* experiences in most of these countries resulted from interactions with various police(which I try my best to avoid).

The issue of warlords is a valid one, but it is not a universal problem in power vacuum areas. Africa has them in some areas and not in others ; esp when looking at Somalia.

S. America is similar, but because of the drug trade they really do not screw with people unless screwed with first and generally speaking arent looking for extortion money from local residents(unlike cops), because they have plenty of their own.

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Original Good Ole Boy December 13, 2012 at 7:03 pm

While it’s true that warlords may not spring up in every situation where a power void exists, I’m not too optimistic about America given the diversity of peoples and cultures here. I can only imagine trying to do business with someone in California if you had to wonder whether your package could make it to California, and whether at different stops along the way, some local dude would set up a roadblock and ask for a toll.

Anarchy is a cool concept in the abstract, but in reality I don’t think it could work except in very small societies with similar values and culture.

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? December 14, 2012 at 12:05 am

We agree that small is good.

:)

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Sailor December 13, 2012 at 1:09 pm

“This website holds down the extreme right flank here in SC”. Whoa, that can’t be right! Big T(urd) says you’re an Obama liberal! Who are we to believe?

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Tricky Ricky December 13, 2012 at 1:18 pm

First, let me say that I am grateful and respect the work that the police do and that it is shameful that people who literally put their lives on the line are paid so little.

But…..am I right in understanding that all other SC public workers pay 7.84% towards their pension while police only pay 7.5% If so, how is asking them to pay the same as everyone else so wrong?

Address the pay issue and make the pension policies the same for all public employees.

Oh, btw…… make the state legislators pension work the same as every other state employee. If I am not mistaken, THEIR plan is fully funded while everyone elses is underfunded (a GREAT place to put any excess funds instead of FITS silly taxpayer rebate idea).

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Knott December 13, 2012 at 1:32 pm

No, the police were exempt from those new regulations.

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Knott December 13, 2012 at 1:31 pm

You left out the fact that cops can double dip and “retire” at a much earlier age then state employees. You can retire with full benefits as a cop as early as the age of 43. Can’t do that as a state employee.

I suspect that fact was omitted on purpose just to stir up false feelings.

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Reality Check December 13, 2012 at 1:53 pm

Knott is right.

It is dangerous and unpleasant work.

However ,those who enter it know what they are getting into and, yes,

“Retiring” at age 43 and being able to in effect start a whole new career with a guaranteed pension for likely another almost forty years isn’t that bad a deal.

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Original Good Old Boy December 13, 2012 at 4:01 pm

No, it’s a great deal. Something that taxpayers should not foot. Give them their damn extra 0.34% if it will make them happy, but simultaneously cut the ridiculous early retirement.

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Mike at the Beach December 13, 2012 at 4:21 pm

You folks’ info is a litte (OK, a lot) out of date. The “double-dipping” was killed last summer, and cops always had to work a full 25 years to retire. That means even if one started the day they turned 21 (which is pretty rare, the average starting age hovers from 24-27), they had to work until age 46 to draw the minimum pension, which was 54% of a probably crappy salary. Not a terrible deal, but certainly not some sweetheart deal like the legislators, judges, and solicitors had.

Keep in mind, too, that the average SC cop retirement is around $18k. Again, not a horrible deal but no one “retires” on that. To get a workable retirement, cops either have to bail right away and start another career, or stay on for 30-35 years, make rank, and get their payout up to 60% or so. SC is in the bottom quartile for law enforcement retirement benefits nationwide; big shock, that.

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KRONOS December 14, 2012 at 7:31 am

Knotts…..what calculator are you using? If a person starts at 21, and by the old retirement calculation of 25 years of service, that equals 46.

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Knott December 13, 2012 at 1:40 pm

not that FitsNews will correct the article to reflect the facts, but here you go..

http://www.thestate.com/2012/03/07/2180936/sc-retirement-proposal-also-hits.html#.UMogKayMWSo

Police and Firefighters can continue to retire after 25 years and retire at 57 years of age, vs 62 for civilian employees. They also can include overtime for the last 3 years in their retirement pay, while civilian employees can not.

Yea, they are REALLY getting screwed by having to pay 0.3% more of their salary.

Thus, when you see an older cop on the street, guarantee you, he’s double and possibly even triple dipping if they are older then 57.

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fitsnews Author December 13, 2012 at 1:59 pm

Do you really want a 58 year-old or older dude chasing some punk across a parking lot?

Also cops DIE on the job … bureaucrats do not, unless of course it’s the result of a heart attack from shoveling so much food down their throats.

25-year retirement for cops makes sense.

Certainly a helluva lot more sense than the 28-year retirement for state employees.

-FITS

P.S. – Knott, don’t fucking play with us, man. Just don’t do it. We’re smarter than you. Always have been, always will be. Remember it, write it down, take a picture, etc.

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Smirks December 13, 2012 at 3:56 pm

Who should have pension plans:

Cops

Who can have their retirement program cut or scrapped at any time for any reason:

Any other government worker
Any private sector worker (for any reason the employer may give or make up)
Anyone on Social Security

That’s bad policy. While I do think cops should be given adequate pay and funding (and oversight) to ensure they follow the law for the law’s sake, they don’t need preferential treatment. You can alter their pension plan from the typical state government employees’ plan if you want, but it should be done sensibly and fairly.

But to say that cops deserve good retirement but anyone else doesn’t amount to a hill of beans, or that cops shouldn’t be allowed to have their plans cut when everyone else is fair game, is crap. If you have an axe to grind with bureaucrats making six figures for twiddling their thumbs or unfair legislature pensions, go for it, but retirement doesn’t become a sacred cow just because a person had a certain occupation.

If you find it questionable to have 58-year-old police officers (despite there being numerous jobs older cops can do in the force), how the hell do you expect factory workers and the like to work into their 70’s and 80’s because their company slashes their pension out of nowhere to make shareholders happy and upper heads rich? Didn’t you bash Hostess who did this very same thing, cut pay, health and retirement benefits, and then jacked up the executives’ pay while demanding even more cuts?

Oh, but cops should be spared that horror. Ok.

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Original Good Old Boy December 13, 2012 at 4:02 pm

Well damn, I agree with Smirks for a change.

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Thomas December 15, 2012 at 2:10 am

Ok, my turn. The fact of the matter is, do not play sides on this issue. The pension investment plans for everyone is not viable or sustainable. The planet is changing. We are not a rich nation anymore. We are not the lone superpower. US Treasuries? negative returns, REITS, Bullion, Stock Markets? Risky with commercial real estate bubble next, manipulations, and QE1,2,3, Operation Twist 1, QE4-Infinity. You lose percentages on the money in these investment vehicles, you may not ever get it back, despite tax and contribution increases.

The overhead to the entire concept is healthcare. Healthcare must be decoupled from any promise of employment. In fact, we are a few election cycles away from forcing all state employess to less than 30 hour work weeks to avoid paying healthcare to the work force. You accept these jobs, the company or government authority (taxpayer) contributes towards these benefits as well…the bills get paid some how, the 401k grows bigger.

Not these days.

Healthcare plans are the tourniquet around every company and constitutional government authority’s balls. The costs are rising faster than Communist Red Chinese influence. You simply can not maintain the benefit packages anymore.

As for you Smirks, in case you skipped Business 201, companies are legal entities. That alone is reason enough for pay scale disparities. Legal Fiduciary Officers of publicly held companies have a legal fiduciary responsibility that rises above and beyond Joe or Jane Sixpack on the production line or phone.

Your reasoning, although grammatically correct, really shows the audience that you:

A) Have an extensive drug abuse history
B) Spent too much time in drum circles
C) has read every book by Chomsky and Ayers
D) have an incredible inability to absorb information contrary to your arrogant, self-centered viewpoint.

Do you have any idea the responsibilities of fiduciary officers are? Who is under this responsibility? Why they do get more pay? It is called, to be brief, legal liability.

I suppose you are conversant on why companies incorporate in Delaware?

Ever hear of Financial Accounting?

Management Accounting?

Oh, never mind.

Go ahead and play that class warfare bovine sewage line of reasoning, just shows your true colors….and ignorance

dypadvisors.com/2011/09/06/fiduciary-duties-of-officers-of-corporation/

As for police work in general, the times have changed. Back up is a panic button away, and we are talking 20 squad cars in a flash. Hi tech allows much surveillance. There are actually more administration guys and gals, detectives, lab techs, support than actual cops on the beat. Lets us not just say all police officers are on the streets, they are not. A well equipped police force is not cheap. Lexington County is upwards to north of 60 million a year in taxpayer funding. Same goes for Richland. In fact, how about pushing 100 million a year for either or.

Much needed or what?

Most of your crimes are committed by members of broken families, abusive family environments traumatized folks who turn to drugs to escape the real pain they have…inside. You can not legislate how anyone raises a kid, but you sure can nip it in the bud. Not only that, you have close to 2 million kids with at least one parent in prison. Seems to me, if you want to address crime, look at the source. Trauma incurred at ages 1-18 is why people go bad.

Next time you lefties want a 501c to call a paycheck, skip the homosexual and condom programs, get a degree and start helping these kids before the become statistics.

I am all for a police force that arrests people of all economic strata’s and historical family backgrounds. I am not for a selective police force that enforces laws for vengeance, petty pay backs, letting friends, family, connections to walk free. I am not for tagging permanent felony convictions of everything that moves which creates a class of people that becomes underclass, as if we do not have enough problems. I am also for de-coupling healthcare fro employment benefit packages. I am also for removing retirement promises, where the individual, with a higher wage scale once healthcare and retirement is removed, can plan for their own retirement.

on and on and on

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Thomas December 15, 2012 at 2:25 am

As for FITS, one question.

When you look in a mirror, what do you see?

Look, I dated the daughter of a Sheriff’s Deputy. He was not ordinary. Aside from his basement full of shooting trophies, and a brass knuckle collection par excellence, I even was able to drive the unmarked on a few occasions. Look, we need a police force. Their jobs are very difficult these days. However, the pension/healthcare promises are not viable, sustainable in today’s economic conditions.

Answer: a mirror, any other answer, avoid them!

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Knott December 13, 2012 at 2:28 pm

Be a man and own up that your article was wrong. However, from this point forward, I will no longer trust anything you say unless you correct your article.

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ShitsNews December 13, 2012 at 2:58 pm

‘be a man, own up, correct you article’, wtf Knott, do you have any idea of how much you are asking?

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Original Good Old Boy December 13, 2012 at 4:03 pm

It took you this long to lose your trust? Where have you been?

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Original Good Old Boy December 13, 2012 at 4:07 pm

I still remember when Will supported Haley’s crackdown of the occupy posters on the State House grounds. And then when it turned out that public opinion (and the 1st Amendment) was not on his side, he went back and whitewashed his previous support by editing his support out of the article.

Some of us noticed, Will.

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Really?!? December 13, 2012 at 2:30 pm

You are correct on double dipping. But what you dont realize is that as a “double dipper” I also have to continue to contribute 7.5% to the SCPORS of which not one penny does goes to my account, nor will I ever recoup that 7.5% I pay for the privlidge of “double dipping”.

Judges and solicitors are also a member of the SCPORS.

Incidently, judges who “double dip” have a law just for them that they no longer have to contribute to PORS like the rest of us.

I challenge Fits to go find the details on their retirement. PORS does not break it down on their web site for judges and solicitors. My understanding is it’s 75% of their salary after 8 years on the bench!

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james the foot soldier December 13, 2012 at 2:53 pm

.003???

$50,000 times .003 = $150
or
$5.77 per paycheck
or
58 cent per working day

BIG FUCKING DEAL

Hold off on that donut for the day and your arteries will feel better and your pension will feel better.

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Simple Answer December 13, 2012 at 4:25 pm

How many skeptics on this board would be willing to put their life on the line for a starting salary in the mid-20k range? Retirement is supposed to be a benefit to attract capable people into the profession. It sure isn’t the salary. Erode the retirement benefit and you will see an even further decline in the number of people willing to do it. I would assume that most don’t know that some cops aren’t even able to use time off they’ve earned because they’re shorthanded as a result of budget restraints/lack of people willing to enter the field.

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Simple Answer December 13, 2012 at 4:27 pm

BTW, I am married to one and live in the real world.

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Tricky Ricky December 13, 2012 at 4:38 pm

Different state (Georgia), but my nephew was able to collect food stamps for his family on the starting wage he made as a sheriffs deputy. This was with a 4 year degree in Law Enforcement.

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Simple Answer December 13, 2012 at 4:55 pm

What a shame. My husband also has a four-year degree and I made a higher salary for quite a number of years with a high school diploma.

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Original Good Ole Boy December 13, 2012 at 7:09 pm

Did he have a bunch of kids?

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Pappy O'Daniel December 13, 2012 at 4:49 pm

PORS is 25 years and SCRS is 28 years. Thus the percentage difference.

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More general point December 13, 2012 at 7:22 pm

The problem with pensions in general is that (1) they allow governments to promise the moon without providing a reasonable plan for payment and then the inevitable shortfall and (2) employees don’t fully factor the future earnings into current decisions so it creates inifficiency in the labor market price mechanism.

Everyone would be better off just receiving a fair market based annual compensation, along with some sort of general social security program that is modest enough to disincentivize most of the free rider problem.

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UNKNOWN December 14, 2012 at 7:35 am

Am I missing something? Didn’t they recently amend the 25 years to 27 (or something)?

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Lance Riprock December 14, 2012 at 8:08 am

What do you pussies have against self-reliance? There’s a reason Orwell called them “pigs”. Badge? I don’t need no stinking badge.

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SparkleCity December 14, 2012 at 8:53 am

To all cops and spouses of cops:

Being a GOOD cop is one of the most thankless,boring,tedious and sometimes extremely dangerous jobs there is. You are dealing with troubles & “issues’ a great majority of the time.

That being said, “increased reliance on “fees & fines” as a revenue source says a lot…….

I served with a lot of cops in the reserves (most were either state,county or big city cops) and I never knew one of them who had to rely on food stamps. They are my brothers and there is nothing I would not do for them or go anywhere with them. Just about every one of them I recall had a better house than mine and usually had a ‘rental or two” on the side. All seemed to be doing pretty good to me and retired and made even more money on the side to include condos at the beach or mountains.

Now, small town cops and the “increassed reliance on revenue from fees & fines” is another thing and COMPLETELY different ball game………….

I run through the gauntlet of the Duncan,Lyman and Wellford PD areas every day to & from work and I have NEVER gotten a ticket because I know how they operate including partolling I-85 and other areas OUTSIDE of town limits for the express purpose of “revenue enhancement”. If they had the opportunity they would patrol county and state wide in order to cast a wider net.

Small town cops are a different breed and usually move elsewhere after a few years. I respect the law and will NEVER give a cop a ration of shit but as far as the Duncan,Lyman & Wellford PD’s go, they are at least one notch down on my respect meter.

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SparkleCity December 14, 2012 at 9:10 am

No shit:

I actually saw a Wellford cop sitting on an entrance ramp OUTSIDE of town limits (SC 129/exit ~68) While down below a motorist had their hood up due to car trouble.

I called the Spartanburg division opf the SCHP (*HP) and informed them of a stranded motorist and they said they would send someone to check the situation. I informed the dispatcher that a Wellford police cruiser was approximately 100 yards behind the stranded motorist on an entrance ramp and was informed that Wellford PD does not assist stranded motorists. I told the dispatcher I was amazed at this and he said, as a matter of fact, his wife had been stopped by the Wellford PD and he had little use for them himself.

If you travel between the BMW entrance/exits (around MP-60 up to SC 129 (~MP-68) You are hereby warned that you will be the a target of Duncan/Wellford PD’s “revenue augmentation” operations and if you have car trouble, don’t expect this group of “thin blue line” to help you out. SHEP MIGHT come along or maybe the SCHP but don’t count on Duncan/Wellford PD’s to help with a fucking thing.

I’ve seen it first hand.

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SparkleCity December 14, 2012 at 9:12 am

I’m talking I-85 above………..

North & South bound lanes

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? December 14, 2012 at 1:15 pm

What we have here in America now is an institutional/legalized form of extortion that in its essence is no different from those cops in C. and S. America.

It’s is merely sanctioned/writ large as opposed to personal and unwritten.

The job of cop has just as much to do with revenue generation now as it has to do with law enforcement. A sad state indeed.

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Booyah December 15, 2012 at 8:17 pm

“Oh, but cops should be spared that horror. Ok.”

We need cops to protect us. It behooves us to have our “gang” content so we can use it against our enemies.

As for the peons, if you are an average worker, you failed at life. The world is competitive, and competition means lots of losers and a few winners. Too bad, so sad, should have done something better with your spare time than watching football or soap operas.

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