Letter: Don't blame Gaither for tragedy

Mar. 23, 2014 @ 01:04 AM

To the editor:

As a former law enforcement officer, I understand the complex and difficult job of both police and prosecutors, and I am in a position to criticize those who are not or have not done their jobs. Our current district attorney, Jay Gaither, has clearly done a very good job over the past 11 years as our chief prosecutor. I know he has implemented numerous successful programs to help victims and increase efficiency, he has drafted and worked to pass legislation, his work with our local child advocacy centers has produced tremendous results, his office has been recognized at the federal and state levels for its excellence, and Mr. Gaither was picked by our governor as the only district attorney to serve on the Governor's Crime Commission. This is a short list of his accomplishments.

The role of district attorney is to provide for a safe community and make sure that justice is served in our courts. In the ongoing campaign for this office we have seen the challenger from Burke County setting forth an argument for a standard that far exceeds the expectations and obligations of our chief prosecutor. IN making this argument he exploits isolated tragedies to try to stir up anger and resentment.

Our communities are safer under Mr. Gaither and that is evidenced by a seven-year decline in crime rates that are now the lowest in over 25 years (Caldwell has the lowest violent crime rate that we've had since 1993). The effort to make a tragedy appear as if it is the result of a systemic failure and blame the death of a law enforcement officer on Mr. Gaither is both dishonest and dishonorable.

Ronald J. Raukema

Lenoir