One of the dividing points between Columbia County and our neighbor Richmond County is their attitude about crime control. This is evident in the case of Robert Beasley, the child abuser.
It is noticeable that it took only one trip to Judge Doug Flanagan's court to bring a screeching halt to the abuse that Richmond County refused to stop. The big question for all of us: What other juveniles are out there in abusive situations, whose cases have simply been stuffed in the closet and forgotten?
Flanagan, and the entire juvenile system in Columbia County should receive public acclaim for their services. ...
We need to remember that it was the public defenders who dragged this case back into court to have another judge to force Beasley to sign appeal papers. Those lawyers should be held in public disdain for attempting to get a convicted child-abuser back into decent society where he can abuse others. Rehabilitation is not a viable option for abusing adults. Violence is not a case of ignorance; it is a case of a person's evil will that drives violence. They can only be removed, not re-educated.
One primary duty of all governments is to provide for the common defense and general welfare. This is not even open to discussion; it is an incumbent duty of our leaders. We have the military services to defend the country, and they do an admirable job. ... Locally, Columbia County is a safer place to live than our neighbor, Richmond County.
An interesting point: Both Sheriff Ron Strength and Sheriff Clay Whittle are working with reduced staffs. Recently noted in The Augusta Chronicle, there are about 10 fewer police officers in Richmond County than there were 10 years ago. During the past year, the Columbia County DFACS office has been bringing fewer cases that require use of foster homes. I doubt that the case workers have become so proficient in their care that foster homes are not required. There is no doubt that the case workers are doing their best given the level of state funding of juvenile services.
Because DFACS funding is a state issue, the lower levels have no choice but to turn their backs on child abusers such as Beasley. This surely deserves public outcries. Any government can be judged by how it treats the most vulnerable people among them. Richmond County has proven its failure; will Columbia County fail due to a similar lack of vigilance?
Richard E. Hogue
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