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Charleston needs officers on the streets

Charleston Police Chief Brent Webster asked City Council to allow him to eliminate — through attrition — one captain, two lieutenant and two sergeant positions — so he can add five positions to patrol..

City council members unanimously approved the chief's reorganization plan. The change will save the city $30,000 over the next year, money that will be transferred to the city's contingency fund.

The point is not necessarily to save money, however, but to make the department more efficient and less "rank heavy." Webster thinks there are too many officers at the top and too few on the streets.

Supervision and management are important in any organization, particularly in law enforcement. But Webster's plan would still leave the city with three captains, 13 lieutenants and 24 sergeants.

It would result in 62 officers on the streets, up from 57. The public will welcome the additional police presence.


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