Over the years my dad, a factory worker, expressed himself through his poetry and woodworking craft.
My dad was not a big talker, but he gave expression of his political views over the years. He did so by writing to the editor of the Cleveland Daily Banner.
As I reflect on it, I am very proud that my dad cared enough about our town that he would keep up with the direction our city and county governments were taking during his time. I had forgotten about this side of my dad, until I began to realize how important the feedback I get as an elected official is, and the impact it has on the decisions I have to make.
Lately, I have been getting my coffee and biscuits at different eateries around the county. I am on a cheap listening tour. It is surprising how much information you receive in these informal settings. People express their opinions, good or bad, about the Sheriff’s Office, and the county government.
Some share raw intelligence about criminal activity and other information that has to do with law enforcement. These brief meetings and information have been very helpful to me. I have other opportunities to listen to people, as well.
I welcome this sharing from the general public and, also, talking to old friends and making new ones. Some of my friends still harass me about not being a big enough “glad hander.” But, I do enjoy the interaction I have with people and I am working on being more talkative and outgoing with them.
The point I am making is that it is very important to know how well we are meeting the law enforcement needs of the whole county. If you think a county patrol car is not in your neighborhood enough, I want to know about it. If you are pleased with the frequency of the patrols I want to hear about that, too.
Obviously, I can’t talk to the 101,000 people in the county, but you can call the shift commander, or the captain of patrol. They will see that I get that information by email or memo.
My goal is for our citizens to feel safe in their homes. The best way to keep that sense of safety is to have, at all times, a deputy sheriff in every part of the county who can be on the scene within minutes of a 911 call.
We have some of the best emergency services anywhere. I say that with confidence. Our ambulance service, our firefighters, law enforcement and reserve personnel are for the most part very dedicated, trained and conscientious. They are, also, a very proud bunch of men and women. As a citizen I am very grateful to each one of them.
By the very fact that the deputy is on constant patrol throughout the county, he or she will be the nearest to and often the first on the scene of any emergency.
Having good vehicles and well-trained, experienced deputy sheriffs in sufficient numbers suddenly becomes very important.
Nothing else matters.
You might say, “Thank God for that big, burly, ugly deputy that stopped me for speeding a few weeks ago, that I cursed under my breath.”
He, with a scowl on his face, told me that he would write me a ticket — the next time.
That same deputy looks like an angel, as he holds the door open for EMTs to carry out a patient to the waiting ambulance. Always there, always caring, always on duty! Yeah, I need your two cents worth of input. When you see the deputy at the convenience store, or parked somewhere working on a report, tell him or her about your concerns. Give your suggestions and tell them to pass the ideas on to me.
All of these things are considered as we continually plan and strategize on the best ways to keep you safe.
We are not perfect, but we are working on it.
Thank for reading.