Graduation: Is it the beginning or is it the end?

Cover of the May 15-31 issue of The Light 

The Light celebrates the Class of 2008. Click here and read the latest edition.

Mothers make the world go around

Cover of The Light, May 1-14

Read the May 1-14 issue of The Light. We celebrate mothers for all of the work they do in our homes, churches and communities.1-14may-2008

Stupid cop peddle drugs at elementary school

As a novice police reporter in Hammond, I quickly discovered that many criminals were not smart at all.

In fact, they were plain stupid.

Often times criminals spend a good portion of their crime preparation time making sure that the big details are in order. They forget the devil is more often than not in the small details.

For example, those transporting drugs along the major interstates are many times busted because they were speeding. State troopers would not catch many drug traffickers had the dealers just kept to the speed limit. No, they fly down the interstate trying to make the quick buck that they never get because they end up in jail.

We have our own stupid criminals right here in Central Louisiana. Right here in the Pineville Police Department. Right here in the Rapides Parish Sheriff’s Office.

Pineville Police Patrolman First Class Raymond Eli Smith, 37, of 110 Wildwood Drive, Pineville, and Sheriff’s Deputy Marcus Mandrell Taylor, 35, of 1425 Jeannie St., Pineville, were each charged with conspiracy to distribute powder cocaine, according to published reports.

Smith was also charged with malfeasance in office.

To be honest with you, I didn’t know if to laugh or cry when I heard the news that two of our law enforcers were allegedly caught up in a drug deal involving an undercover operation.

Smith, who out of all things was the DARE officer at Lessie Moore Elementary School in Pineville and Julius Patrick Elementary School. For goodness sake. That in itself is enough to make your head explode.

Taylor has worked at the Sheriff’s Office for about seven years and is a corrections officer at Detention Center III

Smith apparently orchestrated a drug transaction with an undercover officer that would have had Smith make a quick run to Detroit, Mich., to get rid of a kilo of cocaine.

It took me a long time to listen to the audio from the police scanner that The Town Talk was able to record. That’s a story in itself. Why did this transaction make the radio waves in the first place?

Are these officers the best we have to offer? Are they the role models our children have to look up to? God forbid.

These actions are without any plausible excuses. If the accusations proved to be true, I pray that they are rightfully dealt with on all levels.

Our children have enough trauma in their lives just dealing with their own family members who are involved in the drug world as dealers or users. Our children deserve better. Central Louisiana deserve better.