Our chief of police is back at work. Thank Goodness…Finally!!
In the words of our mayor: “We have some great things going on in this city. I think all of this nonsense has really overshadowed all the great things we have going on. The negativity that exists right now in Simpsonville is keeping people from getting involved.”
That is exactly how to describe the campaign to discredit and attack our police chief over the last two and half years. Unfounded nonsense, and petty accusations have not only made an uncomfortable situation for the Police Department but it has embarrassed the City of Simpsonville. With this on-going saga coupled with the antics of a belligerent Mayor, the City of Simpsonville government needs to take a long look at the direction and reputation we have evolving.
A good step in the right direction would be to recognize that police Chief Keith Grounsell deserves a contract to help heal the wounds and begin a lasting relationship with the Police Department, City Council and the citizens of Simpsonville. Quoting from Grounsll’s legal representative Brooks Derrick, “Due to the ongoing attacks, a contract is a simple gesture where the city can show they are making an effort to protect him from retaliation.” No department head or employee should have to withstand the accusations and harassment that Grounsell has suffered. His qualifications for leadership are unparalleled, which is why he was the number one choice out of 50 candidates from across the country. Most of the citizens in Simpsonville appreciate his hard work and the many programs that he’s instituted in a short time. But as the case most of the time, it’s only a select few people who make the loudest noise that causes most of the trouble in our town. Those handfuls of people have disrupted the city government of Simpsonville and brought disgrace to our long history of cooperation between our government and our citizens. To make it even worse, some of the loudest voices do not even live in the city limits!
We are at a crossroads. The time has come to put to rest the past disagreements and move forward. The best way to do that is to negotiate in good faith a long term employment contract to outline not only what’s expected of the police chief, but what is expected of his employers. It may be unique for a police chief to have a contract, but this situation has hardly been normal or the usual.
We as citizens need to continue our support for Chief Grounsell and encourage the Council to make things right and negotiate a contract to spell out the terms for a successful relationship. It is time to move on and quit wasting resources on petty misunderstandings and accusations. Many of us believe we have the best police chief in the country. We want him to be successful and enjoy a work environment that is both effective and satisfying.
Please encourage your elected officials to work quickly to give Chief Grounsell this employment contract before it is too late and he decides to take his skills and experience where he is appreciated and shown the respect that he deserves!
We want our City Council to change course and lead us on the road to recovery. To recover our reputation, to again be a leader in the region, and to demonstrate that all citizens can rally together for a common cause…the realization that we love where we live and we want all to experience the highest quality of life possible.