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Downtown--32 of the 400 active duty police officers of the Sumter Police Department are in jail today. SLED in investigating allegations that the police officers were taking bribes from local drug dealers and pimps. This investigation comes just after the deputy chief was charged with stealing drugs out of the evidence room of the law enforcement center. SLED has informed Sumter Police Chief Patty Paterson that she has two months to get the department back into shape or a SLED official will have to take over the department. The 32 officers are being held in Columbia until a hearing can be held. The Sumter Police Department could not be reached for comment; however, SLED has said that Sumter should be ashamed of such a horrible police force and actions are being taken to insure the safety of the citizens of Sumter.

Bruce Nowacki: The Sumter Daily Item 775-3131 ext 39

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This is bad news. It is always sad when those we look up to for safety and protection are found to have betrayed the public trust.

However, after reading this article a couple of questions come to mind:

1) What is SLED?

2) How big is Sumter? I remember going thru there many years ago, and it seemed like a pleasant little town. Yet, they have 400 active duty officers in the police department?? In Richmond the police department has about 650 officers, and I can't imagine that Sumter is anywhere near as big as Richmond.

"Bad boyz, bad boyz, whatcha gonna do?"

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