Columbia: gem or diamond in the rough?

We’re still celebrating the city of Columbia being named the fifth best place to live Fall_skyline_of_Columbia_SC_from_Arsenal_Hillby Kiplinger only to be informed it’s a city infested with gangs. Of course, this shouldn’t be news to anyone who lives in Columbia or the surrounding communities. This summer has seen a drastic rise in violent crime, most attributed to gang activity.

I bring this up because I’ve been posting about the Columbia Police Department lately. The CPD made my “Bad Things About Columbia” list, along with the fact that we have a part-time mayor (who has less authority than the city manager and the city council). In a recent WIS-TV video and you’ll hear Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott (who, along with his department, made my “Good Things About Columbia” list) hint at the real problem with CPD. He does so in an oh-so-politically-correct way, of course.

I wonder if Lott ionlyyoucanprevents relieved the city council voted against him managing the CPD with its endless scandals and turnover in chiefs. Lott knows he answers to the citizens of Richland County. Unfortunately, either the members of the city council don’t realize they answer to the citizens of Columbia or the citizens of Columbia don’t realize city council answers to them. Until everyone figures it out and decides to do something about it, the ineffective, corrupt CPD will continue as-is. And it’s likely the gangs will, too.

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