Vote on property tax renewal was the right thing to do

Congratulations to the voters of Lincoln Parish for definitely getting this one right.

The Lincoln Parish Journal thanks our parish voters who on Saturday approved a property tax renewal that generates about $3.9 million annually for the parish sheriff’s office.

As demands for police reform have rocked our nation over the past year, sometimes rightfully so, the term “defund the police” has unfortunately become commonplace in many parts of our country.

Fortunately, the people of Lincoln Parish know better and showed they were willing to make a stand for it.

The Lincoln Parish Journal finds it alarming that calls to defund or abolish law enforcement have become increasingly popular at a time when violence has been on the rise in many major cities.

And we realize that bad things could happen in areas the size of Ruston and Lincoln Parish, too.

While slogans like “defund the police” and “abolish the police” have increasingly been echoed over the past turbulent year for our country, the notion that communities are safer with less-funded law enforcement agencies is simply untrue and dangerous, especially for those living in neighborhoods with higher crime levels.

Stigmatizing successful law enforcement agencies and demonizing the policing profession isn’t a solution for anything good. Defunding law enforcement budgets could only serve to negatively impact the very communities that need them most.

The majority of voters realized that and showed it on Saturday.

Lincoln Parish is fortunate. Our local law enforcement officers, including Lincoln Parish Sheriff’s Office personnel, are highly regarded and courageous people who we can rely on to protect our communities and come to the rescue of our loved ones in times of need.

What voters decided on was not a new tax or a tax increase, it was simply a renewal for a long-standing tax that helps pay for the salaries and benefits of LPSO personnel as will as training, supplies, equipment and other expenses need to ensure the LPSO can do its best to keep parish residents and businesses safe.

On Saturday night, a post on the LPSO Facebook page said. “Sheriff (Stephen) Williams and his entire staff would like to express our gratitude to the citizens of Lincoln Parish for your support of the millage renewal. We vow to be good stewards of your tax dollars and to continue to serve our community with the same standard of service that you deserve.”

And we believe Sheriff Williams and his staff will do just that.

So again, the Lincoln Parish Journal thanks and congratulates parish voters for their decision not to “defund the police,” but instead “re-fund” the Lincoln Parish Sheriff’s Office. It was the right thing to do.

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