In an outrageous display of arrogant deception the Sheriff of New Hanover County pins an overly inflated cost of doing business once again on the backs of the taxpayers. This accounting of expenditures came in an email to all media sources at 5:15 on Friday afternoon, just about bedtime for all those news directors and editors who might give a crap about such waste. Of course any good responsible elected official would have asked and perhaps demanded the cost of this security prior to the expense. Of course any accountable agency would have those numbers prior to spending the money.
We are talking about $65,000, 148 deputies, we are talking about surrounding a legitimate business enterprise because of imagined threats. How many potential threats left the Chili Cookoff Saturday? How many drunk drivers kill innocent people? How many drug dealers shove dope into our kids bodies? Are 148 deputies getting overtime to secure our roadways or our children? $65,000 to work a concert...
Why not just unload busses of troops at Creekwood? Why not just enact a curfew?
Why send a heavily armed, poorly trained paramilitary unit to the open door of an 18 year old accused of stealing a video game?
So we will ask for a breakdown of the 65k Sheriff Causey said it cost to provide security at Brogden Hall and more than likely we will get some run-around. But it is important to know where this money went.
COST PER DEPUTY
The county billed the promoter $1,400 for an additional for 10 extra deputies. That's $140 each.
148 deputies @ $140 each is $20,720
That leaves about $45,000 for what? What did Causey spend this money on?
He is quoted in the Star News as saying, "He estimated $5,800 of the total costs came before the concert, in personnel time spent drawing up operational and contingency plans, obtaining maps and layouts of the site and getting aerial photographs done beforehand."
"he estimated..." So is the $65,000 figure accurate? What are the real numbers?
Again in the Star Newspaper Causey says he had expenses sending two detectives to the Saturday night Lil Wayne concert in "Lumberton" but hold on a second, the concert actually took place in Fayetteville where Mr. Carter sold out the 6,000 seat Crown Coliseum.
He was also quoted in the same article as saying, "Unfortunately, we spent a lot of the taxpayer's money. But I've had a lot of comments from parents who say they were glad we were there." Well, I know the father of a 16 year old girl that was taken from Laney High School, by an illegal immigrant, isn't too happy the school's surveillance cameras are so antiquated that they are unable to provide images sharp enough to recognize anyone coming in or out of the building. This girl went missing for over 2 weeks. It would have been nice to have been able to identify the missing girl in the recovered video, forget the suspect, let's just see the girl, identify her and make sure she left the building alive. Oh, and wouldn't it have helped to have had at least one deputy there making sure no one trespasses on school grounds swiping kids?
This money was wasted. There are plenty of needs. Ruining a business opportunity for a concert promoter isn't one of them. Seriously, we could have paid the guy not to have the concert and saved money. A lot of money.
Shouldn't someone besides us question this expense? Someone sitting on the Board of Education, and/or the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners?