To the Editor:
Maggie Valley must love the guns, badges and handcuffs. In fact, with Maggie Valley being only about 4.5 miles long, we have a little more than three fine local officers per mile. Maggie Valley has a population of 1,150 residents according to the 2010 census and confirmed by the director of planning, Nathan Clark. This is one police officer per every 82.14 people.
According to the N.C. League of Municipalities, a town of approximately 1,000 residents needs 2.4 police officers. Maggie Valley has 10 full-time police and 4 part-time. Each of Maggie Valley’s full-time officers has a patrol car for his use to travel to and from work, and none of these 10 lives in Maggie Valley. Is there any advantage to having patrol cars leaving town or being parked anywhere but in Maggie Valley? The more the cars are driven the more gas and maintenance is required and the more money is taken from taxpayers. Should taxpayers be paying for use of the patrol cars while the officer is off duty?
Having limits on where a patrol car is may also control any temptations an officer of the law would have to harass or abuse his authority while off duty or within another township?
At just about any time during the week, you can find our fine local peacekeepers parked in their usual spots making sure none of the people here in Maggie Valley are driving their vehicles (or scooters) over 35 miles an hour. Perhaps if you really did need one of our officers you may find them gathered together eating at their usual restaurant, perhaps discussing our local crime.
The article in The Smoky Mountain News stated: “While full-time residents only number about 1,000, Maggie’s population increases greatly as seasonal residents and tourists come to town. Maggie also has a high number of bars for a town of its size.”
I can think of only two things: (1) Seasonal residents are usually retired, laid back, good folks who would never cause any reason to increase the police force; (2) as for the number of bars in Maggie Valley, I know there are restaurants that serve alcohol. Maybe our peacekeepers need to thank these restaurant/bars for keeping them in a job. Without them there would be no need for any local police, in fact, Maggie Valley would be a “Ghost Town.”