In the late '50s, a "police presence" was used in areas of Brooklyn, N.Y., to try to eliminate crime and gang activity. There were teams of two large officers patrolling on foot, twirling their batons. They were intimidating, to say the least. It worked.
A recent story stated that the Beaufort County Sheriff's Office was paying off-duty deputies time-and-a-half to patrol high crime areas. This seems to be successful so far. If the presence of these deputies continues to keep us safe and curb crime, why not hire more deputies and make these patrols permanent?
The cost can be paid from the accommodations tax fund. Instead of wasting the money being given to the Hilton Head Island-Bluffton Chamber of Commerce, use it where it's effective. The chamber is as useful as gum on a shoe. The salary of the president alone could pay for at least seven deputies, possibly eight, not to mention a good portion of the remaining 22 people employed by the chamber.
The police presence would do more than the chamber could ever do. They make Hilton Head Island and Bluffton safer for its residents, businesses and tourists. What more can you want for your bucks? The best tourist attraction, besides the amenities, is safety.
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