Thumbs up and down

Aug. 04, 2013 @ 05:01 AM

THUMBS UP:‘Rising Stars’

The ‘Rising Stars’ program wrapped up its two-day summer program this week, giving a group from the Boys and Girls Clubs of Sanford/Lee County an opportunity to get a firsthand look at the criminal justice system. The experience for the seven young people included visits to both the Lee County Jail and the Butner Federal Correctional Complex.

Maj. Carlton Lyles of the Lee County Sheriff’s Department helps to facilitate the program.

“A lot of kids have had pictures of law enforcement, so we want to let them get to know us, “ Lyles said. “...We want them to see that we’re human, too.”

Hopefully, these young people learned how beneficial law enforcement is for our society — and perhaps the importance of following the law for their own protection and the protection of others.

THUMBS DOWN: SRO control

Thanks to a new state law, the control of the student resource officers (SRO) in Lee County has been moved from the Lee County Board of Education to the Lee County Sheriff’s Department.

It has been reported that members of the Lee County Board of Commissioners, especially Commissioner Jim Womack, have repeatedly called for this change, stating that managing a police force is an unnecessary distraction from school officials’ primary goal of educating students.

Even Sheriff Tracy Carter, in a 2006 interview with the Herald, was quoted as saying, “The Lee County Schools Special Police Agency has only been successful as a result of the good working relationship this agency has had with the students, administration, staff and the Lee County Board of Education.”

It would be unfair to say that this is a good or bad idea, but if something seems to be working just fine, why change? In addition, we would think the sheriff’s department has enough on its plate without taking on this additional responsibility.

Nevertheless, we hope the change will prove beneficial and result in the best possible protection for our students.

THUMBS UP:Chatham rescuers

Congratulations to Chatham County emergency personnel, particularly the Moncure Fire Department, for their successful efforts in saving a mother and her 10-year-old son from the rising waters of the Deep River on Monday evening.

The two had been fishing with the father, who managed to make it to shore. However, the mother and son were stranded and needed to be rescued.

We’re proud of all of our emergency personnel in the Central Carolina area, including these in Chatham County, who come to our rescue in times of need; they can make the difference between life and death, and we’re grateful for their service to our communities.