Drennan states his reasons for wanting to be the county’s next sheriff

Posted 27 August 2015 at 12:00 am


After years of consideration and current Sheriff Hess announcing his retirement, I announced my intentions of running for the position of Sheriff of Orleans County in December 2014. Since then it has been a whirlwind of activity around our house.

Being a cop and not a politician, I have become a student of the political process. There have been many meetings, interviews, public appearances and community events that I have attended. This has been refreshing, rewarding and educational.

In my 23-year career in law enforcement, I have seen how easy it can be to become cynical dealing with all the evil and sadness that is out there today, but in reality there are so many more good things in our community than there are bad.

I have had many people pose similar questions to me and I wanted to take this opportunity to answer a few of them. A lot of people are concerned what the new Sheriff’s position will be on the SAFE ACT and their Second Amendment Rights.

I can assure you that I have no intentions of taking guns out of the hands of honest, hardworking members of our community. We will not be knocking on your doors to check your guns and ammo. The SAFE ACT needs to be repealed.

Some have asked if I would be out in the community more. Absolutely! Members of the sheriff’s office and myself will be at community meetings and events discussing the issues and ways to make the quality of life better for everyone. We will have an open door policy that will make us accessible to the public.

People have brought up budget concerns. While our department has done well over the past five years securing nearly $2.7 million in grants, I believe we need to be more aggressive pursuing additional grants, surplus programs and looking at shared services with other agencies.

It makes no sense for me to make promises or propose unattainable goals that will put a bigger burden on the taxpayers of the county. I see public safety is priority No. 1. We can take care of our employees while meeting our obligations of state mandates and be fiscally responsible to the taxpayers.

Some people are wondering why I didn’t get the support of the two unions that represent the employees of the sheriff’s office. I can tell you I did not ask for their support. Personally I believe asking unions to get involved in departmental politics drives an unnecessary wedge into a group of individuals whose lives depend on each other on a daily basis.

Some have asked about the Undersheriff’s position. This election is for the Sheriff’s position. The Sheriff is known as the “Top Cop,” the leader and protector of our community. The Undersheriff works at the discretion of the Sheriff and due to any number of circumstances could be here today/gone tomorrow.

You would still have and need to depend on your elected Sheriff. I have had people express interest in the job and can assure you the Undersheriff will be an individual that holds the department and community’s best interest at heart.

What is going to change? The identity of the sheriff’s office currently is not my identity. My vision and style will be different than those currently in place. I know there are issues at the sheriff’s office and I intend to examine every aspect of the department and improve those areas that need improving. No stone will be left unturned.

Change is very hard for some and we do not need to make change just for the sake of making it. We need to work internally at the department to have standardization across the board so each employee knows exactly what is expected of them. Our response to your complaints will be professional, respectful and consistent from all our employees. This will be your department and I want a department that everyone in Orleans County can be proud of.

I want our voters to be as well informed and as educated as possible when it comes time to vote in the Primary Election on Sept. 10 or the General Election on Nov. 3. I am trying to get my message out to as many of you as possible about my training, education and experience.

I want you to be able to choose the most qualified candidate for Sheriff. You can follow me on Facebook at Drennan for Sheriff and pose your questions to an email link there. I look forward to meeting with each and every one of you.

Thank you!

Tom Drennan