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Letter to the editor: Professional public safety
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Dear Editor: One year ago the city of Oxford entered into an agreement with Newton County for the county to provide fire and emergency medical service for the city of Oxford. This arrangement was initiated by Oxford because the Newton County Fire Service had grown and the quality of its equipment and personnel was superior to what Oxford was capable of providing for itself. This consolidation of an essential public service has been successful and beneficial to both the county and Oxford. The level of expertise and professionalism in the Newton County Fire Service is an asset that we recognize and appreciate.

While Oxford has its own police force, there are times when we rely on the Newton County Sheriff’s Department for support and we are appreciative of the response we always receive from Sheriff Brown and his department.

The importance of professional management of public safety services cannot be over emphasized. One has only to observe what has happened in some metro areas to see what can happen when leaders fail to do their duty. Millions of dollars have been paid to settle law suits and citizens have died from the negligence of those entrusted to protect them. In each case the root cause was the failure of elected and appointed officials to provide the oversight, resources and management required.

We are fortunate in Newton County to have a Board of Commissioners that recognizes the need for professional leadership in all areas of government but especially in the area of public safety.