The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

Local News

April 24, 2014

Stanly County sheriff candidates discuss campaign issues

(Continued)

Thursday, April 24, 2014 —

3. What changes, if any, need to be made at the sheriff's office? If no changes are necessary, what do you perceive to be the office’s greatest strength?

Democrats

R. Burris: The greatest strength of the Stanly County Sheriff’s Office is our continuity and stability. That has given us the ability to change and adapt to the needs of the community and the criminals that seek to victimize the innocent. We are working smarter and making more advancements than ever before. We now have a computer forensics lab with high-tech equipment so we can process evidence and make arrests within a matter of hours and days, whereas before, we would have waited anywhere from months to two years to receive evidence and results from the SBI. We’re going to continue to train and educate more detectives and deputies in the computer forensic technology, and we’re going to continue to invest in those technological tools. Our undercover detectives and narcotics officers are a part of a multi-agency drug and gang task force. We are building an intelligence network of drug users and dealers so we can put an end to the drugs for good. We’re actively working to end illegal drug activity, and I’m not a man who’s willing to trade the work of our undercover detectives and the end-goal of ending the drug traffic in this county for a notch on my belt and 12 lines on the back page of the newspaper.

Speights: The sheriff’s office needs to be more proactive and community oriented. Every effort to be involved in the schools should be explored with a partnership from the sheriff’s office.

Republicans

G. Burris: The Sheriff's Office must have positive, focused and determined leadership. To improve the morale of the department and let personnel know that they are appreciated. To strive for more education and training and to have everyone on board for the years to come. The greatest strength of the Sheriff's Office is its staff and personnel. To lead and stand behind the dedicated men and women at the Sheriff's Office that work everyday for our great county.

Frick:  I see many things that I would like to do differently. The one that is most important to me is getting the drug programs back in full force and have the department maintain a larger more proactive presence on the streets and in our neighborhoods.

Poole: In light of some things that have occurred over the past few years the culture within the Sheriff's Office needs to change and that starts best by having someone head the office that sets an example and demands the highest level of professionalism.

Whaley: There needs to be a change in accountability from the Sheriff’s Office to each citizen of Stanly County. At the end of the day, the citizens want to know and need to know what is happening in their community and how it may affect their families both positively and negatively.  We need qualified people in that office in order to write applications for grant monies.  Grants offset budgetary constraints by supplying salaries, equipment, and training for officers.  Many changes need to occur, but I will limit my list so that I may focus on the one positive aspect of the office.  From the courtroom to the jail and to each deputy on the road or in the office, these folks are the Sheriff’s Office greatest strength.  They are the front line and backbone that preserve and protect our community.  They need a sheriff that will set the bar of excellence and then lead them to it by example.  I’m thankful to each and every one of them for their dedication and sacrifice in their service.

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