Time Heals All Wounds

America is the land of second chances. The notion lies at the very foundation of our country. From the time the first settlers set foot on our Eastern shores to the present day, America has stood out as a beacon of hope to people from all walks of life, from all over the world, as a place where they could start anew, begin again. Many of our laws and traditions are based upon the notion that we can do better, if only given a chance. That theme is reflected in our nation’s great literature and cinema, where a main character searches for and eventually achieves redemption.

We are, ultimately, a forgiving society. We want to forgive; if for no other reason than when the time comes when we stumble and fall, we want to be forgiven. And that time will come for us all, many times over. It is the plight of Man.

But while forgiveness may come quickly, redemption comes over time, after the main character has suffered, done penance, perhaps even sacrificed part or all of himself for the greater good. It isn’t simply dispensed from a vending machine, where coins go in the top and a new lease on life falls out the bottom. It is earned, typically through great trial.

The newest addition to the Town of Ridgeway’s police force certainly deserves a second chance. Eventually. But considering his arrest as recently ago as last September, the incident is perhaps still a little too fresh in everyone’s mind to bestow upon him once again the full confidence of the public trust. Whether or not any charges were ever actually filed (every indication is that they were) or whether the charges have been dismissed (all research indicates that the charges have either been dropped or expunged), the fact remains that this officer was involved in an incident so egregious in nature as to cost him his job with the S.C. Highway Patrol.

A community must have 100 percent confidence in its police force, and an equal amount of confidence

in its governing body to select, vet and hire members of that force. While Ridgeway Town Council certainly had their hearts in the right place, it is difficult to specify where their heads might have been in voting to hire a man as an officer of the law who just four months ago was himself behind bars.

Yes, time heals all wounds. But four months is little time indeed for true redemption.

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