Cheryll Woods-Flowers of Mount Pleasant has won The Post and Courier’s Golden Pen award for March for her letter to the editor, “Stop the high risks of high-speed chases.”
Ms. Woods-Flowers, who served as mayor of Mount Pleasant from 1992-2000, began her letter by pointing out that she has “always been a supporter of law enforcement in our community and that I have a great deal of respect for what they do and the difficulty of their jobs.”
But she added that “with regard to the practice of conducting high-speed chases, enough is more than enough.”
And: “It is way past time to discontinue this incredibly dangerous practice, particularly during rush hour on our congested highways.
How many people will have to die, to be disabled, or to face the stress of having to replace their personal property?”
As she wrote: “On March 11, I received a call just after 5 p.m. from my daughter who was returning from volunteering time as a guardian ad litem. She was extremely shaken by nearly facing death — death due to a suspect and a number of police officers on I-26 speeding between her and the wall next to the lane that she was in.
“I am still thanking the good Lord that the call that I received wasn’t to tell me that my one-year-old grandson, whom I was babysitting, had lost his mom due to the insanity of a senseless high-speed chase. This must stop!”
Ms. Woods-Flowers wrote that if local police departments fail to reduce the dangers of high-speed chases, “then maybe we need something from the General Assembly.”
“Sometimes the potential carnage on our highways outweighs the need to catch a suspect. Mayors and county councils, you must do something, now!
“Now, before you get the same call that I got on Monday.”
Golden Pen winners are invited to an annual luncheon with the editorial staff.