Former South Bethany officer critiques treatment of police

Editor:

Can anyone rationalize anything that has happened within the South Bethany local government in the last couple of years? I think that I can…

One word: Transplants.

The resort area has been taken over by transplants from the liberal and corrupt D.C. metro area. Unless it has recently changed, local law allows non-resident property owners to take office in South Bethany. Why? Just because you own property in no way establishes a knowledge, ability or right to take political office in any geographic area.

Most of these “elected officials” have little to no experience in the office that they have been elected. In fact, the majority have proven themselves to bring bias, inefficiency and inadequacy into office.

Take for example the South Bethany Police. I worked for the SBP from 1991 until 2004. (It wasn’t referred to as the SBPD back then … just SBP). I was the public information officer for a decade, and I’ve been a cop for almost 30 years.

Back then, Chief James F. DeLoach ran the place right. Thereafter, Chief Troy Crowson did the same. The town mayor and council supported the police department operations. That is, until the “new” political mindset was established, and South Bethany cops began quitting and retiring out of the blue.

“Out of the blue” … no. There’s no such thing. That’s called signs and symptoms of problems … and it wasn’t about the police department. It started with the local government “leaders” and progressed to an all-time low in the history of the Town of South Bethany. Those that got out then were smart. Those that are going in now are considered foolish by many.

I can safely say all of this from afar, because none of it affects me, and none of the new political drones of South Bethany can affect my life or career. They are nothing but individual false hopes of meaning, control and politics. Nothing more. And they’ll never be anything more.

They drove out a great police chief over politics and a refusal to acknowledge the real world of law-enforcement: crime, staffing and salaries. South Bethany is not the small-town, crime-free place it once was … even more so during the tourist months.

In fact, crime occurred all year ’round even when I worked there: drugs, fugitives and weapons coming through town regularly, and we arrested a ton of people. I can only imagine what it’s like now with a minimized staff of cops. Burglaries, vandalism, theft from cars, under-age drinking parties … yeah … those little things. If you think for an instant those are only summer problems, you’ve got a lot to learn. It happens year ’round. It’s the beach, after all.

Residents and property owners used to rely on South Bethany cops to check their properties in the off-season. They called it “house checks.” We all got assigned a few blocks to check, and we’d call the owners if we found an issue. It got too busy for us to do that. Because crime and police work. Those days are over. The police are not security … it just doesn’t work like that anymore, even in South Bethany.

The problem is who is running the town now. The current politicians (transplants) have no business doing it. They have no idea what they’re doing. They are unqualified, inexperienced and even biased in regards to law-enforcement, much less public safety. It makes an intelligent person question why they’re there in the first place.

Don’t expect protection from other police agencies. Mutual-aid agreements have limitations. South Bethany has lost its best protection ... its own police force. They need to start from scratch.

 

Lev Ellian

Cascade, Md.

Editor’s Note: South Bethany has recently completed a round of hirings to bring the department to “fully-staffed” status, though two of those hired officers are currently in training.