Last spring, Oriental's police deputy unexpectedly resigned. The town commissioners decided to try a one-person police department. That trial has not worked out as well as the commissioners had hoped. Providing police protection for Oriental appears too big a job for one man.
Sheriff Sawyer has been extremely helpful in providing back up to our only policeman, but response time is a problem because Sheriff's Deputies have much further to travel than our local policeman. In recent weeks the County Sheriff has responded more frequently to incidents in Oriental than has our own Chief. Last Wednesday morning, thieves stripped an SUV parked at the corner of Oriental's two main streets. The County Sheriff responded to that incident, as well.
I believe we urgently need to recruit a well-qualified part-time policeman as an interim measure, and review our long range options, which may include a full-time deputy. The Town Board will have a special meeting at 5:00 October 13 to address some of these issues.
We should put public safety first.