Letter to editor: Thank You Lindell John Kay & Amelia Harper For The Article, “Studies give conflicting views of city”


You say, “Rocky Mount is either one of the safest cities in North Carolina or one of the worst places to raise a child in the United States, depending on which recent study is to be believed.”

What tickles me is those folk who are consistently trying to discredit the Rocky Mount City Council and Mayor I am going to see if they are going to talk about the school system’s role in the report, “Metro area schools may also be underfunded. The Nash-Rocky Mount school district spends only about $8,400 per pupil annually, about $2,300 less than is typical one nationwide. The report based its ranking on preschool enrollment figures of 33.4 percent, the graduation rate of 82 percent, the population with access to areas for activity at 53 percent and the 2015 violent crime rate of 423 per 100,000, which was considerably above the average national rate of 373 violent crimes per 100,000, according to the report.” Now this is something that can be easily found out by challenging the school system by seeking answers when it comes to school issues.

I don’t want to get into the crime reporting because you said it best, “Studies of this type from third-party business websites pop up from time to time with differing methodologies and varied results based on cherry-picked statistics.” I feel a forum could help with helping to better understand what is real and what is perceived by the statistics and the people who have ties to Rocky Mount.

I would love to see more discussion in a forum on the following, “A Telegram investigation this summer revealed crimes in the city have been underreported to state and federal authorities during Moore’s watch.” I would love to see the investigation discussed and to see what was reported and the total number of cases to see how much of an impact on the city. I think that something need to be done to bring some closure to the issue so that the new chief will be able to come in and be effective without having to have this investigation findings to keep coming up but not forgotten.

I find the following to be very, very interesting, “City officials are searching for a new police chief. When asked whether the new chief’s priority will be crime prevention or lowering crime statistics, those officials would only say that the new chief will work to make Rocky Mount a safer community.” What kind of question is that? The new chief should come in with one thing in mind and that is to follow the mission for serving as chief of Rocky Mount which is:

We, the members of the Rocky Mount Police Department, are committed to providing the highest level of police service. We will improve the quality of life in the community by building partnerships that reduce crime, maintain order, and create a safe environment while upholding the laws of North Carolina and the United States Constitution. We adhere to the principles of integrity, professionalism, respect, and fairness. See what the Rocky Mount Webpage say about integrity, professionalism, respect, and fairness at http://www.rockymountnc.gov/departments___services/police.

I have heard several folk say that the outgoing Chief James Moore is a smart man and is unique in his own way. I agree after attending a meeting a couple of years ago whereby I took off work to attend about law enforcement and the community that was held at the BTW Center. I found out then he was unique in some of his comments especially after he responded to my comments on that day. I felt he had an issue with my comments as he addressed me in some kinda way. I videoed the meeting but can’t remember the details at the moment.

I have heard several folk say that the outgoing Chief didn’t work close enough with other local law enforcement agencies. I have heard some officers from the different agencies including Rocky Mount itself that said Chief Moore was unique. These officers felt that Chief Moore should have done more collective policing and the times when they did that many times he was not out with them unlike the other agencies top man.

Chief Moore has retired so it is time to move on and focus on hiring a new chief. The new chief need to be held accountable for his actions as well. However what folk need to understand is that the new chief along with police officers need to keep the mission of the Rocky Mount Police Department in mind at all times. Folk need to understand that the new chief cannot stop crime if they are not in present during a crime. Folk need to understand that it is the role of the chief to enforce the law after a law has been committed and would hope that the crime will be reported as it and not sugar coated to make the statistics look good.

In my opinion there should be more talk about the funding of the school system and the crime situation in Rocky Mount in some type of forum and to me this is where the Rocky Mount Human Relations Commission should be the lead however they could ask for partners from other entities.

Now as the search for the new chief go on, let us welcome the interim chief Willie Williams to lead the Rocky Mount Police Department until someone is hired. Former Chief Willie Williams bring a wealth of knowledge and professionalism to the table. The last time I was in his presence while he was working he was at NC Central head of their security on the campus when my daughter was in college. I know Chief Williams will do a fa bu lous ta stic job until the new chief is hired.

Curmilus Dancy II
Pinetops, NC

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