The first duty is to meet with all employees and outline the goals and vision that the department will be heading in. Reassure them it will be in a progressive direction. I will also have an open forum for suggestions and ideas so the employees can voice their opinion on their vision and what they would like to see changed (I want all employees to have input on what is going on). I want everyone to be on the same page.
I will implement the Polk County Personnel policy (for the security and well being of the sheriff’s department employees). This will be done to protect the employees to let them know that as long as they do their duties, they have job security.
Immediately stop the duplication of services, and wasteful overtime, general supplies and uniform spending (drug unit, stop deputies from stopping vehicles, traveling at alarming speeds without due regard to the safety of the community).
Will you please name two things you would do to reduce the budget?
Immediately stop the duplication of services. I will stop excessive spending that has occurred for the past 15 years or more. Stop the overtime and make sure that if overtime is to be paid there is a need for it. Stop unnecessary spending in general supplies, uniforms. Work hand in hand with the county commissioners to ensure that the budget is where it should be.
Since 2003 the Sheriff’s Department has spent and excess of over four million dollars over the proposed budget.
What is the one thing that the sheriff's office could do to reduce the drug problem in Polk County?
The Polk County Police Department has a unit, therefore the sheriff’s department does not need its own, which is being done at the present time. The current sheriff asked what he could do to help and he was told that manpower was needed. Instead of putting officers in the current county’s police departments drug unit, he started his own unit using a jail administrator and a deputy, which he has denied in the paper saying that he only spends 2-3 hours a day. (July 30, 2010 Fish Wrap). This is a duplication of services.
With the approval of the county commissioners and the Polk County police chief, I would place qualified officers with the Polk County Police Department’s Narcotics Enforcement Team. This unit has been established and has proven to be successful. Once this was accomplished I would work with the county police chief, Cedartown police chief, Rockmart police chief, Aragon police chief and the district attorney and help start a countywide drug task force.
With my experiences, I do believe that everyone has to and should work together to stop this horrific epidemic from getting worse. If working together drugs, violence and thefts can be combated.
How would you improve efficiency within the sheriff's office?
I will bring in exceptional administration, leadership and management skills, training, experience, motivation, dedication, leadership skills and stability to the sheriff’s office. I have experience in management and supervision and certification and training to prove it. I feel that the more training an officer has the better the officer can become for the citizens and for other officers. I have over 2900 hrs of training as a police officer including jail training (certification) and experience.
I have a vision and goal of what can and will be done in the future. I am the one that can get the department where it needs to be. Administrators, leaders, and managers without a vision are just employees.
How would you put more accountability into the general running of the sheriff's office?
Accountability can be accomplished by great management and leadership. Along with myself being a great leader and manager, I will place the proper leaders in place. Once you have great leaders in place everyone will fall into place. If someone is not doing their duties then they need to be held accountable. An example would be if deputy has a take home vehicle and fails to secure it then the deputy will be held accountable for the outcome.
What is the biggest challenge you see in becoming the new sheriff and how do you plan to overcome it?
The biggest challenge is the employees, the change of how things will be managed. As a new co-worker, manager, leader, and supervisor takes its place there will be challenges and questions. Some employee’s will not be very acceptable as they are use to the “good ole boy system”. The good ole boy system will not be tolerated or accepted.
I will not only explain what is going to happen but why it will happen. After this I am confident that they will be understanding and ready for the change and progress we will make as a team.
What do you see as being the responsibilities of the sheriff?
The responsibilities of the sheriff: To maintain a budget that is approved by the board of commissioners; to ensure the taxpayers are getting what they need and deserve. To ensure the citizens of Polk County are safe. To maintain a respectful, honest, dedicated agency and to ensure that the jail is properly handled, the court’s and its employees are safe, civil actions are handled and served in a timely matter(subpoenas, court orders, etc.), the execution of outstanding arrest warrants.