Local law enforcement protected us

Published 12:27 am Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Something horrible happened Sunday afternoon in Adams County. That fact will never be erased and should not be overshadowed.

Yet the situation could have been much, much worse.

The riot that broke out at the Adams County Correctional Center showed examples of some of the worst human behavior imaginable. An unruly mob temporarily took over the prison and beat a guard to death.

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The news was shocking to say the least. The savage, senseless loss of life is inexplicable. Our community should pray for the victim’s family as they mourn his loss.

We hope and pray law enforcement can determine exactly which inmates are responsible and prosecute them to the fullest degree of the law. If justice is served the people capable of such violence will never again see the light of day outside a prison — ever.

Fortunately, however, the violence was not widespread, and the entire situation fully contained within the confines of the prison grounds.

Today, citizens should pause to say thanks to the Adams County Sheriff’s Office, under the leadership of Sheriff Chuck Mayfield, and all of the other area law enforcement officers who surrounded the prison and ensured the hundreds of rioting inmates remained behind the barbed wire and chain-link fencing.

If anyone ever doubts why we need professional law enforcement officers, well-handled emergencies like this should squash those thoughts.

As investigators piece together what happened to cause the riot and violence it sparked, don’t jump to conclusions and vast assumptions, but rather wait until all the facts are known. Rumors flew on Sunday night as law enforcement officials worked to gain control over the situation. When the smoke had cleared most of those rumors were proven to be complete fabrications. We must resist the temptation to react without the facts.