Which isn’t unusual per se but is usually indicative of financial problems in cities. Many large cities use seized assets to pay for things like drug rehabs, youth programs and other community services. In cities where police are equipped and sometimes even paid partially with seized money the police have often been found to be motivated to make seizures that sometimes don’t pass the smell test.
Greenville County Council unanimously approved an ordinance that will help residents and visitors of downtown Greenville sleep a little easier at night and enjoy their visit a little more.
At a City Council meeting Monday night, council approved the use of $10,000 in seized assets to purchase and place a new surveillance camera that they hope will allow police to keep an eye out for criminal activity.
Greenville police say the surveillance cameras in downtown Greenville have been instrumental in helping them catch criminals and the goal of adding a new one is expected to do the same.
Lt. Joe Browning with the Greenville police department says, “Having those cameras there makes some folks think twice before they knock out a window.”
Most recently the surveillance cameras in downtown Greenville were key in catching the suspects who investigators say vandalized a brick statue on Main Street.
Lt. Browning says, “We had a new statue installed just below the Greenville news and some individuals decided to vandalize that statue by removing the head. We were able to go back and get video footage of the actual crime, the vehicle they were driving and it didn’t take us long to solve it after that.”
The new camera is going to be placed in the courtyard next to the Marriott and Greenville City Hall. Lieutenant browning says there hasn’t been a lot of criminal activity in this area but the camera will act as more of a deterrent to keep criminals away.
In a seperate vote, City Council members unanimously approved an ordinance that provided additional officer training for Greenville police. The use of $100,000 in seized assets was allowed in passing the ordinance.
“You want to get the best officer you can out there and utilizing the latest tools and information that is available on the street,” says Browning.
$110,000 in seized funds, which is money received as part of criminal investigations is used to go back into law enforcement efforts, such as officer training and this proposed surveillance camera.
That $110,000 is nothing to sneeze at either. The 2010-2011 projected budget estimates a decrease in business and permit fee income of at least $1,409,501 and that’s with the rosy view the city council takes that the economy is turning around and we’ll be seeing continued city and county growth. Obviously they’re not familiar with the Laffer Curve.
On page A-4 we see they expect fine revenue to go up $15,000 and a increase in the solid waste fees Greenville collects from $8.50 to $11.50 per month. We also learn in that same section that low interest rates cost the city $42,817. That page also announces a freeze on public employee “merit adjustments” which I suppose is a fancy way to say yearly raises. There’s also a 10% increases to health care premiums.
On page A-5 we learn the city managers contingency accounts was drastically reduced from $238,000 to just $50,000
On page A-8 we are shown a chart that makes clear as tax revenue went up ALL other economic activity went down.
Page A-11 shows “general expenditures” including the police budget. We see that policing costs shot up from $15,531,394 in the ’07-08 fiscal year to $18, 999,034 in the ’09-10 fiscal year. The projected budget for this fiscal year sees a .07% drop in police expenditures.
And herein lies the problem. The police have increased their budget every year in part to deal with a massive influx of new residents and college students who, in good times, would bring with them fresh infusions of cash to pay for the extra services. But in reality most people who moved down here are like me, they moved to save money and planned on spending less. This trend will continue at a pace the city council is refusing to recognize.
But now that the door is open to funding through seizure what will the police do when it turns out that city council projections for growth were wild-eyed Keynesian fantasizing at best? They will try to make up the shortfalls with more busts that lead to property seizures, which opens the door for the kinds of abuses liberals at Coffee Underground are always claiming they suffer, but haven’t really seen yet. The cops have already eliminated an investigative services specialist position (pg A-12) and now all the cops are going to be wondering if they’re on the chopping bock.
When a police officer thinks his ability to keep his job has become tied to how much property the police can seize in drug busts those couple of dime bags the cops usually fine you for are going to look an awful lot like a dealers stash and the Volvo your parents pay for will be auctioned off. Scandals involving just that sort of thing are fairly common place in large metro areas, and Greenville, which is a growing community hemorrhaging money, is getting just big enough to see the same thing.
Scott Thomas, the heroic drummer of southern rock band Parmalee who was critically injured protecting his band mates from two armed robbers, is running a fever. Doctors will run tests to determine why as the man remains in critical but stable condition:
“(Parmalee drummer) Scott (Thomas) has maintained an elevated temperature for the past few days. He will be undergoing testing today to medically attempt to pinpoint the origin of the fever.”
“Attending surgeons feel that if he has an abscess or infected area that is discovered through this testing they will be able to address this during what will be his fourth surgery since this traumatic incident. The fourth surgery is presently scheduled for tomorrow, Wedenesday, September 29th. He remains critically stable.
“Scott is also undergoing his third session of dialysis today. The Parmalee family (present and extended) were hoping that he would be removed from his ventilator, as this is uncomfortable to Scott. The removal of his ventilator tube will enhance his ability to potentially communicate verbally. Surgeons are optimistic of its removal tomorrow or the following day. We appreciate the continued thoughts and prayers, and wish you to direct your focus to his potential infection issues and kidney healing.”
The medical bills are piling up so go to Help Parmalee to donate money for Thomas’ care.
Horrible story that’s a couple of year old, but Shauna Newell was kidnapped raped and sold into prostitution. The police claim she was just a runaway and won’t prosecute the attackers even though she was found beaten half to death. This is why you need to protect your children and not rely on the police:
My feeling is that often law enforcement punts these cases because they can’t handle the sheer volume and if the public ever found out that the government couldn’t put a stop to a modern day slave trade of our children it would completely destroy the authority of the state.
And the mother of the children was allowing it meaning she too is some sort of pervert. Gary Reece Thompson was arrested twice in the 1990s for sex crimes and ended up on the sex offender registry. According to this appeal Thompson was originally convicted for sexually abusing a six-year-old girl. Here’s his South Carolina sex offender page, which lists him as living in Traveler’s Rest.
A couple of people hit my contact form and asked me to look at this case. I think the facts speak for themselves. From Jailbirds Online:
Investigators with the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office Sex Crime Unit has charged Gary Reece Thompson of Marietta with Three (3) Counts of Criminal Sexual Conduct with Minor Under 11 1st Degree, Four (4) Counts of Unlawful Neglect of a Child, and Two (2) Counts of Disseminating Obscene Material to a Minor under 12. Thompson’s wife, Jessica Thompson has been charged with Four (4) Counts of Unlawful Neglect of a Child also. Deputies state between October 2007 and May 2009 Thompson did commit the
listed crimes which occurred in Greenville County. Investigators state that Thompson’s wife was charged with Unlawful Neglect x 4 because she willingly allowed the children to be emotionally and physically abused by Thompson.
The skanky, lonely Jessica Thompson married a man who was almost two decades older than her (I know she looks older but I think she’s in her late 20s and he is 41) who is a known child raper. She allowed him to sexually abuse her children for years, partly to keep him happy and partly to satisfy her own depravity. In theory the charges mean there’s no evidence that she herself molested the children, but she did bed the man who was raping her children. Think about that for a second.
Frequent the crime blogs and you will see this dynamic ad infinitum. There are thousands of women out there who for various reasons pimp their children out to the degenerates they “love” and will do anything to keep. Armchair analyzing them may pass the time but the bottom line is that Jessica Thompson is evil and a quirk in the law means that she will not be punished for the rapes she facilitated of her own children.
When she gets out you’ll see her again. She’ll find another pervert and more children to abuse and Gary Thompson will bide his time in prison, waiting for his next victims. The only thing we can learn from a case like this is that if you see something, say something. If that skank down the block moves a new boyfriend in and her kids start looking worse for wear call someone. If you suspect abuse call someone. These kids lived through hell with this pervert for almost two years and no doubt there were plenty of clues. It’s every adults responsibility to protect the children whose parents won’t.