Faster than a speeding train ...
by Jim Ruth Bradley County Sheriff
Feb 16, 2014 | 704 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
That is how rapidly life is moving into the future. You blink and a decade of technological development has come your way. There is hardly time to digest these life-changing gadgets and their effects on our lives, before something else comes down the pike.

In these last few years we have gone from telephones and teletypes to computers and smartphones, with all kinds of applications. In law enforcement we have gone from blackjacks and large fixed batons to extendable-type batons to bullet-resistant vests to pepper spray and stun guns. We have come so far that the use of drones by law enforcement is being questioned concerning its constitutional legality.

Scam artists and con men in this country and others run rampant with telephone, mail and computer schemes. Many scams target our senior residents. These scams are designed to be fast paced and convincing.

To be effective in law enforcement we have to change and adapt very quickly. Every size law enforcement agency in the country is affected.

Terrorism and white collar crime would be much worse than it is if the large law enforcement agencies were not pouring billions of dollars annually into manpower and equipment.

Some of America’s largest cities are doing a great job in keeping their people safe. Their leaders have recognized the need for priority funding for their law enforcement agencies and are reaping the fruits of their investment. Better trained, experienced people with better equipment are getting the job done.

Other metropolitan areas have other priorities rather than safe streets. They too are reaping the whirlwind of violent crime, drug crimes and gang activities. Fear rules the night in these cities and there are cities in that category in our beloved state of Tennessee.

Do I think their streets could still be safe? Yes, I do. If some of these city fathers had been as committed to law enforcement as they were to urban renewal they would be just as safe as the much larger cities where funding for law enforcement is top priority.

We must always be willing to do those things that will keep our county neighborhoods safe. Law enforcement is to the community much like the Department of Defense is to America. America must have a strong defense. Cleveland and Bradley County must have strong, competent law enforcement people. Their strength, competence and resolve will be tested often.

Our people who want to be successful must be a highly motivated people who are open to learning and to growing intellectually. As the administrator I encourage this journey of our people as they seek to be their best.

I want the citizenry to be aware of our goals and methods for county law enforcement. I do believe our approach is the right one. I also believe that most of our people who pay the bills will agree with our mission statement and our policies as they learn more about them.

Our mission at the Bradley County Sheriff’s Office is to provide quality, professional law enforcement to the residents and visitors of Bradley County. We believe no one in our community should live in fear.

That is my job and that is why I speak often of the attributes and talents of the men and women who serve you at the Sheriff’s Office.

Sadly, some simply do not make the grade. I am willing to deal with the fallout for having to part ways with this group as well.

I sometimes find myself with the mindset of a big brother who protects his younger siblings. I see myself this way sometimes with our employees. I also feel that way as we plan and deploy our people to stand guard throughout the county. We are your Department of Defense with a strong sense of responsibility.

I have mentioned before we use the U.S. military’s model for our rank structure. As an administrator I have followed President Ronald Reagan’s example by having smart seasoned men and women in management positions.

As I thought on this, I also remember that one of my boyhood heroes was David of King David fame. Before David was king he worked in “Homeland Security” for his country. He learned to be a great warrior defending his country.

As David was promoted up through the ranks, he surrounded himself with strong men who had strong opinions. I don’t think he had many “yes” men. His leaders were strong and resolute, which was like iron sharpening iron as they helped lead their country. The country was better because of it.

I want to emulate this hero as I lead the fight against crime in Bradley County. I might add that I believe there are a lot of good things coming with these changes along with the challenges. I remain forever hopeful.

As always, thanks for reading.