Second deputy needed on duty in southern Jackson County
What a wonderful and timely article on the front page of last week’s Chronicle concerning David Christian Griffith IV and the state of our Jackson County judicial system, which continually releases career criminals from jail over and over, thus the “revolving door” analogy! How true and sad this article really is.
Dozens of Cashiers area houses, mine included, have been broken into in the past year. In response, the Lance Road community in Cashiers has formed a grassroots alliance writing to and calling our district attorney, judges and sheriff’s office, because we’ve all been violated.
But even with all the anger and effort of continuous homeowners’ pleas, our judges keep letting Griffith out. And until his last arrest on Feb. 12 (on breaking and entering and 13 other felony and misdemeanor charges), the judge would continue lowering the bond until he could meet it, even with numerous felony charges in place.
The town of Cashiers and all its vast outlying areas (South Carolina line on the south, Macon County line on the west, which includes all of Pine Creek Road area, the N.C. Highway 107 power plant to the north, which includes all of Glenville and the Transylvania County line on the east, which includes Sapphire) consists of 135 square miles. Guess how many Jackson County deputies we have on duty at any given time of the day or night? One!
If that officer needs to call for back up, how fast can it arrive? Twenty minutes at the very minimum.
How unsafe is it to be that sole officer in a town that is wrought with drug problems and home robberies amongst many other problems? And to add insult to injury, the sole officer on duty is doing an incredible job apprehending this trash in dangerous situations over and over, and the judicial system keeps releasing them over and over!
My house was broken into, ransacked and violated with more than $3,000 of valuables stolen on Feb. 10, as were the houses of many of my neighbors.
David Christian Griffith IV had just gotten out of jail on a bond that was reduced to a pittance a few days before. Now, should I take my $3,000 invoice to the DA’s office? Or maybe to the judge who lowered the bond so significantly on multiple felony charges that (Griffith) could afford to bail out? It’s their fault that people continued to get ripped off.
And to add to it all, get this: breaking and entering in North Carolina isn’t a felony. It’s a misdemeanor!
We need at least one more full-time officer in Cashiers at all times. The Cashiers area pays the majority of the Jackson County tax base. We also need to change that breaking and entering law to a felony!
Financially this trickle effect hits us all -- property insurance rates, property tax rates, rental rates, home values, our tourism market, retail sales, etc.
I encourage you to join me 5:30 p.m. Monday, April 16 at Albert Carlton-Cashiers Community Library. All five Jackson County commissioners will be present for a public hearing at which, I’ve been assured, they’ll be happy to discuss the problems and resolutions. In the meantime, email your five county commissioners and your congressman. Tell them we don’t live in a quiet and purportedly safe little community to be violated by a bunch of meth heads and a few powerfully placed people in Sylva!
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