I have noticed a lot of letters to the editor in favor of our current Sheriff L.C. Knight. I can assume different reasons for this, but we all know what assuming means. I can only write about what I know and the things and people I believe in. I am a citizen of Dorchester County and I have been paying attention to Sheriff Knight’s term in office and I have to say, some of Mr. Knight’s actions, the way he has conducted himself and his campaign have been a disgrace to the line of work his deputies have worked in, take extreme amounts of pride in and in some cases gave their life for. I know Mike Turner personally, not as well as several others do, but enough to make up my own mind about this man.
Anyone can take pen to paper and write on situations leaving out certain details that would make something appear different than it actually is. That is one of the beautiful things about the written word, but distasteful to the readers. The only people that take this kind of writing to heart are the ones that do not know the full story.
In regards to recent letters overstretching the truth about Mr. Turner and trying to connect him to situations that were beyond his control, I have a few things to say. I know the situation that involved a Mr. Smith and it appears that Mr. Pia has tried to paint this situation with a bright and cheerful colored brush by leaving out some very important details. Mr. Smith beat a handcuffed, defenseless man in the back seat of a patrol car; he lied about it, took a polygraph test and failed, then later admitted to it. There was a unanimous vote at the Criminal Justice Academy (CJA) that stripped Mr. Smith of his badge. When Mr. Knight was voted into office, one of the first things he did was appeal to the CJA’s decision. His appeal was first denied then later over turned by the Director of the CJA, who was also a former supervisor of Mr. Smith. Mr. Smith now is a Lieutenant at the Sheriff’s Department. All of this I found doing my own research into the incident. The way you explained the incident, Mr. Pia, I applaud you, I got a laugh out of it. Mr. Smith was serving his punishment when Mr. Knight went to bat for him. In reference to something I read before, I say this, this does not show what a great man Mr. Smith may have been, but only how tarnished our Sheriff is.
As far as the incident with Mr. Turner taking prescription drugs that were not his. The fact that people need to bring up something as small as, he had a headache and took medicine for it back in 1989, shows just how far you have to reach to find something about Mr. Turner, something that has no bearing on his ability to do his job.
In regards to the videos that are out there, I am glad they are there. It allows people to make up their own minds about Mr. Knight and Mr. Turner, who cares who video tapped them. The videos that are being referred to by Mr. Taylor, I had the chance to review them after reading his letter. Mr. Taylor stated that the people who were asking questions were being coached, by the camera operator, possibly and that you can actually hear this occurring. The only thing I heard was one person, possibly the camera operator, tell someone else not to say anything, hardly the incriminating evidence Mr. Taylor made it out to be. How dare you assume that victimized citizens are being coached to ask questions to their sheriff about problems in their neighborhood. In one debate, , I was very unsettled by Mr. Knight’s demeanor. He kept his head down looking at the floor while his opponent spoke, a sign of disrespect in my opinion.
The incident pertaining to Mr. Pastor and how Mr. Knight and Mr. Turner responded to a question, let’s not blow smoke and mirrors, everyone knows who the person was talking about. Mr. Turner was not Sheriff, at that time; therefore he did not have control in what happened to Mr. Pastor. I am sure Mr. Turner hates the fact that something like this happened, but the outcome of the situation is not his fault. Mr. Knight stated he would investigate them and fire them if it happened under his watch. So according to the situation with Mr. Smith and the situation with Mr. Pastor, I can conclude that Mr. Knight does not stand for people stealing money, but does not seem to have an issue with beating defenseless men in the back seats of patrol cars.
In regards to Mr. Turner’s education, how dare you attack Mr. Turner, yet again, for something he has no control over. The American InterContinental University, was, is, and remains an accredited university. It seems you left that part out of your letter to the editor. Looking at the rest of his education, Graduate of the Citadel, the Criminal Justice Academy, and the FBI National Academy, I would have to say Mr. Turner not only has a legitimate Master’s in Business Administration but severely out does Mr. Knight in Education. I am deeply sorry the person you are voting for does not have these credentials. All Mr. Knight has is a Minor at a junior college in Economics and Education.
In regards to the Retirement gift that was given to him, in the form of a Shadow Box with a firearm engraved with his name on it, it is my understanding that Mr. Turner is not the only officer that received this gift. So instead of attacking Mr. Turner for receiving a gift that was well deserved for his years of service to his community, if you have an issue with this, talk to Mr. Nash the giver of the gifts and ask him why a gift of the price you stated was given.
It is my understanding that Mr. Knight is working with a budget that is $3 million more a year than Mr. Nash had, but he cannot afford to have things such as a SWAT team? I also understand the SWAT team had all new gear before Mr. Knight took office, gear that is now sitting in storage somewhere not being used. This seems like a waste of resources. Charleston County may have a grant to aid surrounding counties, but they cannot aid surrounding counties if they are using their resources. Why take the chance with citizens’ lives? Mr. Taylor states that Dorchester County citizens spend money in Charleston County, but he does not “wish to imply that the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office or its citizens owe Dorchester County”. Mr. Taylor gave no other reason for this statement, so I have to imply that is exactly what he meant. By that logic, Mr. Taylor, your logic, Dorchester County should have its own SWAT team to share with Charleston County because I am sure Charleston County citizens spend money in Dorchester County. Mr. Knight also claims to have given money back but the moment he took office he immediately changed the patrol vehicles and uniforms of all deputies, how much money did this cost and was it necessary?
Mr. Taylor also goes on to say that crime rate has gone down 11% throughout the entire state. I can assure you Mr. Taylor and fellow voters; Mr. Knight is not responsible for the 11% drop in crime rate throughout the entire state. While I love this state, I am truly only concerned with the crime statistics in the county I live in, not York County which is over 150 miles away or any other county. According to statistics that I found on the SLED website, a website Mr. Knight should be familiar with, murder, rape, robbery and aggravated assault all went up by 2009, when Mr. Knight was in office. Now to be perfectly fair to Mr. Knight, there were 29 rapes in 2009 which is more than in 2008 when rape was at 19, but less than when Mr. Nash was in office. However there were 3 murders in 2007 when Mr. Nash was in office and 8 murders by 2009 when Mr. Knight was in office. Robbery went from 71 in 2005 to 123 in 2007, while Mr. Nash was in office and in 2008 there were 156 robberies the first year Mr. Knight was in office. There are not any numbers posted for 2011 as of yet. Here is the website for the numbers I did find,http://www.sled.sc.gov/SCCrimeBooks.aspx?MenuID=CrimeReporting
I hope voters who truly do not know who to vote for, will take the time to do a little bit of research and ask the tough questions, so they can go into the election booth with a clear head. I also hope I have changed the mind of at least one voter to vote Mike Turner instead of LC Knight. It is with great respect to the position of Sheriff that I am voting for Mike Turner on June 12th2012.
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