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WHY NEW THINKING?
"Sometimes, change is for the better, and in law enforcement...change is constant."
SOME POLITICAL POSITIONS TO CONSIDER
I have always agreed with Chief Barnard's opinion, as he stated in the mid-2000s, that Lexington doesn't need more law enforcement... "if we [did], we'd continue to grow the police department.” It makes total sense as LPD serves as the primary metropolitan police presence in Lexington. The department has grown into three different sectors, and continues to hire terrific male and female officers, employees, administration and staff. In a modern world, "Andy Griffiths" often spend more time dealing with finances than felons. I defend the argument that Fayette County Sheriff Deputies should not be out making traffic stops and securing arrests on every shift. These days, the Sheriff should spend more time 'keeping the books' rather than booking criminals -why? Because in Kentucky, sheriffs are also our tax collectors.
Deputies are responsible, in most cases, for several millions of dollars of taxes, but there's nothing requiring them to show that they have that capability. Anyone who recalls watching "Robin Hood," as a child, remembers that the Sheriff of Nottingham was disliked because he was the local tax collector. Sometimes sheriffs are also involved in elections, and they have a number of duties as officers of the court. Frankly, in 2022, the civil functions are the larger portion of what their office entails. I highly doubt that Lexingtonians (many whom I call family and friends), regardless of age, sex, or creed; although may be proud Fayette County registered voters -have any relevant idea of what the elected, county position actually entails.
Therefore, having someone who is a good administrator might actually be better qualified for this type of office, over someone who only has a law enforcement background. Jerry Wagner, Kentucky Sheriff's Association's Executive Director has stated that "these functions are often a shocking reality to newly elected sheriffs." What he means is that many new candidates end up falling down because they don't entirely realize (and understand) the business practice, and overall bookkeeping, of the elected leadership position.
I'm particularly excited to seek out training, on my own, even though it is not necessarily required in the position. Although, each year, Kentucky's 100+ sheriff offices take part in their 40-hour training session put on the prior-mentioned Kentucky Sheriff's Association; I've never been one to simply do the minimum and call it a day. I expect our men and women in uniforms to be trained to the highest level available to the department, and I expect to hold myself to those high standards as well. In the late 90's, additional training was amended into the Kentucky Revised Statutes and was eventually required by Kentucky state law. Interestingly, it was the local sheriff's who led the charge to change the required training across the state of Kentucky.
Another way to reduce criminal activity is to have better-trained law enforcement among all levels. Effective law enforcement involves many things and a very important aspect is training for the deputies. All deputies require periodic, ongoing training to improve their skills and thinking. If elected, I will stand accountable ensuring that all Fayette County Sheriff’s Office personnel are professionally trained to be prepared to meet the needs of the community, and to perform tasks at a high level of proficiency by confirming that the deputies are allowed to obtain as much training as possible to help better equip them to serve the members of our community. I think the more trained our deputies are, the more capable they will be to provide proper law enforcement for Fayette County and maintain protection for the citizens and themselves. Also, every deputy needs periodic review of training received in order to see what training may be needed to be able to stay up-to-date with current changes in the law and the most appropriate way to deal with these calls. This effort requires regular review, scheduling and appropriation of funding for the training and thus will increase the response and safety of the officers. I see a tremendous amount of unused talent in the deputies of the department, and I will encourage them to grow both professionally and personally. I have seen good things take place over the years, but I have seen others that I believe may have been handled differently. I would like to make some improvements that will better serve all the residents of Fayette County, by doing so with a budgetary-mindset as a first priority.
I possess the courage to lead and the humbleness to do so in a collaborative manner. The decisions I make will be done so intelligently and with the best interest of the community in mind. I am even-tempered and reasonable, and not only will I identify problems, but more importantly: I will work to find the solutions. Community is important to me and I will work tirelessly to further gain the respect and trust of our citizens. I will be a sheriff that you can be proud of. As an external candidate, I am the only candidate that will be able to look at the agency in an unbiased way. I am not invested in any special projects or beholden to any group of people. I have the unique opportunity to see everything as it truly is. I will be able to make decisions that are in the best interest of both the community and the organization.
Through my studies in criminal justice administration, I have experience in governmental budgeting, grant funding, employment practices, tax levies, negotiating contracts, and developing long and short-term strategic plans for an agency to meet the needs of the community. With graduate studies in strategic management, and running my own successful small businesses for the past six years; I feel confident that I have the credibility, relationships and knowledge to lead this agency.
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