Some consternation was detected as lone commissioner candidate, Stan Deatherage, directly challenged the prudence of hiring Resource Officers, while considering no other viable options to keep school children safe.
At the WDN /WBCCC Candidate's Forum, on October 15, 2018, its format limited participating candidates the time to fully conceptualize and deliver full explanations to the many significant issues that we face; however, that still did not hinder me, as a commissioner candidate, from plowing straight ahead into the annual issue of the new massive, ongoing expense incurred upon we Beaufort County citizens - the Resource Officer conundrum. Beaufort County commissioners' rush to hire these 8 extra Resource Officers, as an ongoing expense, for the off chance that a Beaufort County school could get shot-up by a deranged gunman is the wrong solution, especially since more reasonable alternatives were never considered by the commissioners.
These commissioners' hiring of additional Resource Officers for about 800,000.00 per anum - even more per year going forward - rather than the limited expense of more prudent initiatives was a poorly considered partial solution. Those better considered prudent initiatives would include: securing all entry doors with "leading edge" hardware, managed by updatable software, remotely operated from the safety of administrative offices; installing inside-room-door-locking apparatuses on every internal door to help shield locked down students; while, additionally, arming all willing and capable school personnel so they, and the students within their care, would have a fighting chance to survive any attack, and to save others in the balance.
In regards to the better alternative of the armed and trained school personnel, these capable individuals, not unlike U.S. Marshals on domestic airline flights, would be cloaked in the stealth of anonymity and closer to the point of hypothetical violence by the would be attacker. Most school casualties occur in the first 60 seconds after the attack ensues, so speed is of the essence to lower, or eliminate the death toll. Additionally, an improbable deranged gunman would be emotionally hindered by the probability that every Beaufort County School room would be hardened by the anonymous firepower from any possible internal point of defense, not just one armed resource officer patrolling a multi acre campus; possibly far out of position when the attack occurs.
Their lack of initiative by these Beaufort County Commissioners to evaluate this situation, which is not in any manner imminent or even probable (no school in North Carolina has been attacked by deranged gunmen), and entirely avoidable should this improbable tragedy occur, at a far lower cost demonstrates the stark incurious nature of these sitting county commissioners, thereby, their willingness to waste the public's treasury just for the appearance that they care more than those
that have the capacity to wisely think through these serious matters of school safety.
What this frivolous spending exercise moreover reveals is these commissioners' desire to use the Resource Officer issue to cloak their excessive spending habits by their aggrandizement of exhibiting their public display of faux concern
, thereby asking: "Where would you cut spending? Would you cut the resource officers rather than protect our precious children?"
The Conservative, who governs by the principles of that wisdom first, would only offer: "Yes, I would cut this Resource Officer expenditure, and, instead, I have this solution" ... and then appropriately offer that solution to caring equally for the well being of all our children.
In the 2018 /2019 fiscal budget, these Beaufort County commissioners met in secret; discussed the issue of creating this massive ongoing expenditure program, and then voted on that issue with no real debate in public.
Accordingly, this Beaufort County practice of keeping government in the shadows, so that a majority of commissioners can organize super majority coalitions to move policy, is an anathema to Conservative principles, and the representative speech of real Open Government. While this is just plain wrong in the public conscience of self-governing, moreover, this resultant policy of spending annually tremendous sums of money to placate the fear of a rare but possible tragedy - without examining any other options - not only lacks representative courage, it is the culmination of bad public policy while widening and deepening Beaufort County's well entrenched version of "The Swamp."