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"Like a Good Neighbor" FCI is not There

A Column by the Editor
web posted February 20, 2013

COLUMN – It is a slow news day so I have some time on my hands to pen a column, which can be a dangerous thing in some people's opinion and rightfully so. The news of the escaped prisoner from the Federal Correctional Institution (FCI) came out late Tuesday afternoon. Ten hours after the inmate went missing the Edgefield County Sheriff's Office was notified the Feds had lost an inmate. Not ten seconds, ten minutes, but ten hours.

For ten hours the FCI, who pride's itself as being a "good neighbor" to the Town of Edgefield and the county, did nothing to alert the citizens a Federal prisoner was missing. Who needs a "neighbor" like that?

Now, understand we are not talking about Otis of Mayberry locked up in the county jail for 30 days for public drunk or somebody in the state pen for selling drugs. We are talking about a person who was convicted of a Federal crime who for ten hours was among us unknowingly because the Feds didn't think it was important to let the "neighbors" know they had an escaped inmate, much less Sheriff Dobey.

I have not spoken to Edgefield County Sheriff Adell Dobey at this time, but I find it appalling his office was not notified within minutes, not hours, after the escape. I hope Sheriff Dobey will make that point clear to the FCI brass.

Sheriff Dobey is charged by the State Constitution to be the highest ranking law enforcement officer in the county, higher than a Federal government Warden. The Warden is in charge of his inmates, the Sheriff is in charge of protecting the county citizens.

Something he, or his deputies, cannot do if they are not told of an escaped inmate on the streets in Edgefield and across the county.

The employees of FCI have been good neighbors and hold fundraisers for local drives. They should be commended for their accomplishments.

However, those responsible to be that "good neighbor" when they loose an inmate shows a total disregard of the community, and the county, by arrogantly and intentionally thumbing their nose at Sheriff Dobey when they screw up.

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