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Consider duties of a ‘Constitutional sheriff’ when deciding who to support in election

Posted 10 February 2019 at 9:59 am

Editor:

I believe every candidate for office should have a challenger. Nobody should feel he has an easy victory. By having a challenger, the incumbent cannot get complacent—in fact, he finds himself having to woo the voter all over again. He might do a wonderful job during his term, but a challenger makes him accountable.

With that in mind, again we have a competition for the office of sheriff. But before you go to the polls, know what you’re voting for. A true sheriff, a Constitutional Sheriff, knows his role and his responsibility. To remind everyone, this is a list of the characteristics of a Constitutional Sheriff:

A Constitutional Sheriff is apolitical. What that means is there will be no political influence in the Sheriff’s Office because his “employers” are the people. So one of the first things you will see happen is a lot of screaming and fighting from the legislature, the politicians, the DA, because they don’t want to lose their influence and power. If you don’t see that, you know your new sheriff is bought and paid for. He will not answer to the people of the county.

A Constitutional Sheriff will vet the current laws through the prism of the Constitution. That means he will see how the laws measure up against it, and if the laws are unconstitutional, he can nullify them in this county.

A Constitutional Sheriff will set the tone for the behavior of his deputies and other workers in his department. If deputies abuse and oppress the people and are not corrected, you know that comes from the sheriff himself.

A Constitutional Sheriff will interpose himself between the state and federal agencies who oppress the people in the county. All outside agencies cannot enter the county with the intent to raid, arrest, incarcerate, confiscate without permission from the sheriff. That does not say he cannot work with those agencies. It says they cannot work outside of him. If the sheriff does not make that clear to those agencies from the start, you know he will not answer to the people.

A Constitutional Sheriff is a “people person.” His duties are administrative, which means he spends a lot of time coordinating the different services through his department. He has people to handle each division, but he must make sure all the activities flow smoothly. There will be endless paperwork, advisory and informational meetings, press conferences, public access meetings, and workshops on employee morale.

Even though he spends most of his time at a desk, he should be available to address serious public concerns in person. He should be willing to meet with the people to discuss issues that oppress them. He should be aware of outside influences and be willing to address them, directly if necessary. He should be accessible. He should care. If he cannot, or will not, do that, you know he will not answer to the people.

Remember this when you go to vote.

Judy Larkin

Ridgeway