Being ‘top cop’ doesn’t mean best candidate to be next sheriff

Posted 20 May 2015 at 12:00 am


While I have a great deal of respect for Undersheriff Smith, his letter to the editor on May 19 is just one man’s opinion, with no offer of reasons or statements that support his belief that Randy Bower is not qualified to be the sheriff of Orleans County.

Furthermore, while Undersheriff Smith offers an accurate definition of campaign rhetoric, his letter itself serves as an example of such. I believe that it is short-sighted to draw any conclusions just based on one sample size of what is the current landscape of the origins of sheriffs in NYS. There is no doubt that it is currently the “fact,” but by using such a small sample, one could argue that it is exactly that … a fluke.

If it was explored more, research may show that more individuals became sheriffs from alternate avenues than law enforcement. Simply being a cop or the best of cops does not mean that the individual must certainly be a better candidate for sheriff.

The sheriff is ultimately an administrator first and needs knowledge of law enforcement. It stands to reason that if a dispatcher has better communication skills, better organizational skills, better leadership capabilities, and is a better motivator, then why overlook the man as a viable candidate?

One fact that is clear in this race is that the Orleans County Deputy Sheriffs Association endorsed the dispatcher over the chief deputy. That to me is a very telling sign that even cops believe a dispatcher is more capable than a “top cop.”

The bottom line is that we should have open minds in choosing our next sheriff and not limit ourselves to living with a hand-picked top cop or we might miss out on a candidate that can do the job extremely well and would be a great servant to the community.

Chris Caufield