Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Ridgeway's Anti Crime Kiosk

We are parked in front of the Ridgeway Law Enforcement Complex on the main street of that small town in Fairfield County, S.C. This is actually the former home of Ridgeway's police department which served the town from 1940 through 1990. I doesn't quite fit into the Mustang's trunk, but was for those fifty years more than sufficient quarters for Ridgeway's one police officer who reportedly served without an automobile.

It does seem odd that a town which was the site of a very successful gold mine wouldn't need a larger police force. For almost 12 years Kennecot Minerals harvested 28 tons of silver and 46 tons of gold from their Ridgeway mine site. Our experience with Western movies suggests that bandits loved to rob the trains which brought the payroll money to miners as well as those which carted off the mined gold. There was profit in either direction for robbers who cared enough to feast upon the easy pickings. We were disappointed in not finding accounts of daring robberies and bloody shootouts over so much gold and silver.

While it was not a result of gold fever, Ridgeway did eventually hire a second police officer. The 2000 Census plotted Ridgeway's population at 328. That gave each officer 164 citizens to serve and protect, a ratio which would (further) bankrupt most major metro areas, but it has worked well for Ridgeway. The only problem with the second officer was that the station house was not large enough for two people. The town then took yet another timely step and purchased a police cruiser in which to place the second officer. Such are the demands of never ending municipal growth.


Blogger chucker said...

I remember a phone booth in the Florida panhandle with a sign saying "World's Smallest Police Station" but they might have been having fun with tourists.

I also heard about a police station that was robbed...of its toilets.

The police had nothing to go on.

Thanks for your interesting posting.

9:12 PM  
Blogger Windviel said...

Chuck, you're absolutely right on the toilet caper. You know how it is with police work. The case cannot be closed until the paper work is done.

Thanks for stopping by in these rather close quarters.

12:42 AM  
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