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July 27, 2021

Question:  I have a couple of questions for all candidates:  How would your administration handle public relations in the community? One though, Over the years, I’ve noticed many city and county officers pass stranded motorists and keep going, when I lived another county, if an officer passed a stranded motorist, they received a reprimand , how will your department handle?   #2   Would rural officers hold meetings within their patrol areas to interact with residents to promote unity and trust? This would serve under served communities with an Avenue of needed communication



I am sorry.  I answered this question on another page and can't find it.  This the only problem with multiple pages with the same question.

Public relations with those you serve is paramount.  They are the ones with the power to fire you.  It goes back to the transparency issue I feel strongly about.  I also feel strongly about the image of impropriety.   If I am lucky enough to be elected a response will be made either myself or the staff member responsible for that area.  If we don't respond, people think we are hiding something.  

As far as communication with communities, I worked in a department that felt strongly about this too.  We had neighborhood groups called Shadco.  It means Sheriff's Advisory Committee.  We met regularly with each community to discuss their issues.  As a patrol officer responsible for their area, I attended these meetings.   I did so to enable them to get to know me.  They all had my cell phone number.   I answered their calls whenever I was called.  It was amazing the amount of information I was able to garner just from that. I would institute some variation of that if I am lucky enough to be your Sheriff.



Two part Question for all of the Sheriff candidates!

Subject: Media Relations

Part 1: It appears to me, that anytime there is an officer involved incident, we often get more details from surrounding news outlets than we do locally and very little to no information locally about any followup status. (My opinion)
And I understand you have no control over the news outlets. 

How will you keep the community informed about the good and the bad? 

Part 2: I believe their was a report published a couple of years ago about someone who was found deceased and in my opinion, the things that were said about that person was very degrading and I also believe that story was edited as the people expressed outrage about how that person and their past was described. 

How would you notify the public about a deceased individual who was found, without degrading them, bashing them or mudslinging, if you find they didn't have a picture perfect life style?



Sorry, I was in TN for a VA appt.  in answer to the first question.  One thing I intend to do is to designate someone to be the public information officer.  If there is no one that has been trained, I will get them trained.  In the case of an officer involved incident, I will personally release any information that is available to be released in accordance with applicable laws.  

I hope to develop an open dialogue with the news outlets.  That is what a PIO is for.  That way, if there is something they want to know or should know, the PIO will be responsible for ensuring dissemination.  I anticipate the PIO to be a Sergeant and above.  

As far as notifying the public of a deceased person, if it is of unnatural causes, there will be little to release except the general information (for example, female/male was found deceased in the (name of street neighborhood).  Foul play was or was not suspected and the investigations continued.  If it is appropriate to have SBI conduct the investigation they will be identified as the investigating agency.  If there was foul play, information may be slow coming to protect the ongoing investigation.  As developments are made and can be made public, they will be.  

As far as the victim’s lifestyle, it is his or her private business.  Whatever vices they had are not for us to disclose.

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