Driving around our county you may have noticed the abundant show of support for sheriff candidate Jim Smith, as evidenced by, the overwhelming display of posters and yard signs all over our great community. I’ve taken the time to write this letter to those of you who may not know the Jim Smith that I, and countless others, are fortunate to know. Jim and I were classmates throughout middle (Lakeview) and high school (WCHS) and what I can tell you from that time was that he was a friend to all. Ask any classmate about Jim and the response would be similar; he was always friendly, kind, and truly just an all-around nice guy.
Both of us now adults, raised and still residing in Kosciusko County, our paths rarely crossed, except on occasion in professional circumstances (I was an ER nurse and he a sheriff’s deputy likely bringing in a patient). A friend of mine had a young daughter whose dream was to become a cop, and for her upcoming eighth birthday, had wanted to ride in a patrol car. As an ER nurse that interacts with officers occasionally, I wanted to see if I could help.
When thinking of which officer to ask, Jim Smith was the first that came to mind. As a proud Kosciusko County sheriff’s deputy, he happily and immediately rose to the task. When I asked Jim, not only was he up for the job, he went far above and completely beyond the call of duty.
This man planned, not only a quick ride in a police car as requested, but he also took her on a grand tour of the sheriff’s department, gave her a hat, shirt, badge, other gifts and even had special ordered a cake for her; all of which was presented to her at a birthday party at the sheriff’s department! Jim and the other officers took pictures with her and made her feel like a deputy for the day! Perhaps the most endearing part of it all was Jim’s excitement of this upcoming surprise; sending me updates along the way! It was a special birthday, one that little girl will never forget, all because of one man’s heart of gold.
This is just one of the many ‘Jim stories’ as I’ve heard so many others over the course of his run for sheriff. He volunteers his time and lives to serve others. His love for our community is immense. Jim possesses all the virtues that one would expect of a sheriff. This is a man with integrity, kindness, and profound generosity. I am proud to cast my vote electing him as the next sheriff of Kosciusko County and hope you all will do the same.
Dana Oberg, Warsaw
I must admit that even as a long-time resident, taxpayer and voter in and of Kosciusko County, I have very seldom gotten involved in our local politics. Furthermore, I am not easily impressed, especially these days, by those seeking votes and offices at any level of government. However, I have become very impressed with the young man challenging our incumbent sheriff, for that position in the primary election this spring. That young man is Deputy Jim Smith.
Jim’s qualifications, experience, and resume are mighty impressive: Army Reserves 2000-2012, with a tour of duty in Operation Iraqi Freedom; Indiana Law Enforcement Academy; five years with the Syracuse Police Department; Kosciusko County Sheriff Deputy 2011 to present; member of Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 149, North Webster American Legion Post No. 253, Kosciusko County 4-H Swine Committee, Syracuse-Wawasee Rotary Club, Clunette Methodist Church, current president of the Tippecanoe Township Board, past president of the Leesburg Lions Club, and current president of the Warsaw Morning Optimist Club. Jim is a native of Kosciusko County and a Warsaw Community High School graduate. He has been married to his wife, Trish, since 2008 and they have a son and daughter.
As well as his obvious leadership qualities and strengths, Jim is committed, loyal, transparent, determined and fiscally responsible. In fact, he has already promised, if elected, to significantly reduce the sheriff’s compensation cost to the county. Jim is a dedicated law enforcement officer not a politician! I honestly believe that we residents of Kosciusko County would be privileged and very well served to have Jim serve us as our next sheriff.
Lex Dalton, Warsaw
I worked for the Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Department at the Work Release Center for just short of 10 years. The last two years were under the Dukes administration. When Kyle Dukes took over, he made no effort to meet with the staff at Work Release. He took such little interest in the Work Release Center that rumors started to circulate that he was planning to relinquish control of the facility to Kosciusko Community Corrections. More than a year and a half into his term, I took the initiative to introduce myself to the sheriff at a community parade and ask him about the rumors. He said that he was indeed considering turning over control of the facility. I asked him if he would meet with his employees at Work Release so we could get to know him and his plans for the agency. He said that he would. He never did.
Now it’s election time, and suddenly Kyle Dukes has great interest in the Work Release Center, promoting it on his Facebook page through his “Work Release Wednesday” posts, celebrating all of the satisfied inmates (or “residents,” as he would now have us call them) who live there. While I’m all for treating everyone with respect, we still need to remember that Work Release is a form of punishment for people who have committed crimes. Under the lax rules of the Dukes administration, inmates have, in addition to their traditional Sunday passes, been permitted to do such things as go out to dinner together, walk through the Christmas lights at the park, and go to a middle school girls’ basketball game. We can respect incarcerated people without throwing parties for them. Things have gotten way too liberal.
This is why I 100% support Jim Smith for Kosciusko County sheriff. I became friends with Jim while working for the Sheriff’s department. Jim would stop into Work Release and talk and joke with staff and inmates. I know that Jim would take interest in the Work Release Center throughout his entire term, not just when he’s up for reelection. I know that he would care about people no matter what side of the law they were on, while still having the focus and discipline to keep things from getting out of control. Coming from a military background, Jim knows that “discipline” isn’t a bad word, and sometimes it’s just what people need to get their lives on track.
That is why I encourage you to vote for Jim Smith for Kosciusko County Sheriff on May 3rd.
Mike Robinson, Bourbon
Former Work Release officer and son of former Sheriff Ron Robinson
I have known Jim Smith for 11 years, and when it comes time for you to choose our county’s next sheriff, I ask you to choose Jim Smith.
There are several reasons to choose Jim, the first and foremost is what you see is what you get. I can say with my reputation on the line that he is extremely trustworthy, if he tells you something, he means it. I have stated that he should run on the stance of “no political promises and just the truth” because truth is what you’ll get with Jim, he’ll always be honest and transparent. I believe he will tell you the truth no matter how it might sway your opinion of voting, and that means more to me than hearing a political answer that you might get from others.
When I first met Jim, he was interested in getting to know me. He wanted to know about me because he is the kind of person that cares about people, and now years later I can say I appreciate the times and conversations I’ve had with him due to his caring nature. He is always interested in what you're saying and can always give you a needed opinion or advice. He is one of those people that always asks how your family is doing, but he isn’t just asking to ask, he legitimately cares about everyone.
I have stated earlier that with my reputation on the line, I fully support Jim Smith. I wouldn’t do that for just anyone. I previously worked for the Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Department, so for me to take a stance like this supporting a person going up against an incumbent sheriff, I need to wholeheartedly agree with the person’s beliefs and stances. I believe Jim will be the leader the department needs in times like today. I believe he will be the person that is fiscally responsible that won’t put unnecessary burdens on taxpayers in a time where some people can’t and shouldn’t have to take on such burdens. I believe he will think through every decision he makes and make the best decision possible for the community as a whole. I believe he will surround himself with a vast and knowledgeable group of people that will help make the department run as efficiently and professionally as possible.
I will end with a story that I think of often. Jim and I were on the way to a football game where on the way we got food to go. I noticed Jim took his hat off and said a prayer. Once we finished eating, Jim placed his hat back on. I then asked Jim why he removed his hat to eat. He told me he takes his hat off to eat and pray to show respect and thank God for his gifts.
I believe with the traits I have stated, Jim possesses the moral ethics, a noble principle of caring for people, and honesty that I want not only in a leader, but as the leader of our Sheriff’s Department.
James Zimmerman, Burket
I have lived in this community for many years and have known many sheriffs. Several things come to mind when I think of a good sheriff: Someone who cares more about doing the job well than he does about finding votes; someone who is more concerned about service than about his salary; someone who speaks up when necessary, but does not promote himself; someone who is tough as nails, but not afraid to show compassion; someone who has deep roots in the community and knows the people; someone who knows and patrols the county roads and small towns just as well as the streets of Warsaw; and someone who lives and breathes Kosciusko County every day.
I see all of these qualities in Jim Smith. I support Jim Smith for sheriff because I believe Jim has the personality and the experience to unite the sheriff’s department and make it work more efficiently. Jim is a lifelong resident of Kosciusko County and has always been involved in the community. He has been in law enforcement for many years and served in the military. Jim is a war veteran, but you will never hear him brag about it. He has a humble, down-to-earth demeanor and a common-sense approach to solving problems.
Although some think it is necessary to vote for an incumbent, I disagree. If the challenger is better at tackling the problems faced by our community and the sheriff’s department, then we should vote for the challenger. Jim Smith is that challenger. Some of these problems include the recruitment of officers and jail management. Officers are getting recruited out of state because local candidates are not interested in applying. Damages in the jail are on the rise and are imposing a burden on the taxpayers. Inmates are overdosing in secured cell blocks. There was a time when a drug-addicted loved one getting arrested was a relief to family members because they knew at least their loved one was safe from drugs. Now families worry that their loved one will be the next in-jail overdose.
Responding to problems by claiming these things are happening nationwide so there is nothing we can do is not the answer. Thankfully, Jim Smith does not have that attitude. He will not hide from serious problems but will tackle them head-on. His service in Iraq and Kuwait is evidence of his experience and ability to deal with high-stress and life-or-death situations. His experience, common sense attitude and dedication to service over politics are why I urge all of my fellow Republicans to vote for Jim Smith on May 3.
Al Disbro, Winona Lake
I plan to vote for Jim Smith for Kosciusko sheriff in the May primary.
As a retired law enforcement officer, I was shocked to read about the drugs and tattooing currently occurring in the jail. This information came to light during the Susaraba trial. For those of you not aware, the Susaraba trial was about the overdose death of an inmate – a death Sheriff Dukes told the press was “out of his control.” At the time I write this, there have been another possible four overdoses at the county jail in a two-and-a-half-week timeframe. The one press release issued by the sheriff’s office made it sound like the jail was not searched until after the second possible overdose, which was two days after the first. What leader would wait to do an all-out search until a second overdose occurred?
I am also amazed by the amount of vandalism that has occurred during Sheriff Dukes’ term. The continued damages and costs for repairs were enough that Mike Long, current county councilman and a former county maintenance worker (who left on his own accord), felt compelled to come forward regarding what is happening. Anyone can view the eye-opening videos by visiting Jim Smith for Kosciusko Sheriff on Facebook. I do not blame the jailers for the current situation – I hold leadership accountable, this is happening on his watch.
The drugs, tattooing, and vandalism all point to leadership. I only hear excuses:
• talk about how times have changed,
• how drugs are hard to stop,
• how damages are only caused by inmates being held to go down to state (which I also question) – Sheriff Dukes is responsible for the care of all inmates in the jail.
What I do not hear from Sheriff Dukes are solutions. Never before in this county has this amount of damages occurred under the watch of one sheriff. The same can be said for drug overdoses. These are leadership issues! As Jim Smith noted in one of his videos, “This is about training, policies, expectations and supervision of staff by leadership.”
What I hear from Jim Smith is someone looking for solutions such as reinstating body cameras for jailers, bringing in a drug canine trained specifically for jails, regular walkthroughs by leadership, clear policies, procedures and training for the body scanner. I hear Jim Smith caring deeply about taking care of the jail, about diminishing damages, about all inmates in his care, about impact on taxpayers.
Again, this is not a jailer issue, this is a leadership or lack thereof issue.
I hope you will join me in voting for Jim Smith for sheriff in May.
Bill Kelly, Leesburgh
Retired Kosciusko County Sheriff Deputy
One of the most important duties of a county sheriff is to maintain order in the county jail. When some inmates feel emboldened enough to commit new crimes while they are in custody, it is a danger both to the jail staff and to the inmates who are behaving as they should, and it is a burden on all of us. Who pays to repair the damages to the jail when inmates wreak havoc? WE DO, the taxpayers.
Over the past three years, we’ve seen a slew of crime, disobedience and damage within the Kosciusko County Jail. Inmates are getting drugs, selling drugs, running their own behind-bars tattoo shops and damaging county property. The cost in repairs to us, the taxpayers, since to current sheriff took office is already estimated to be over $150,000! That’s a huge increase over previous years. It has gotten out of control.
It’s time to try something new. I am supporting Jim Smith for sheriff in the Republican primary. Jim’s years in the service taught him about discipline and how to execute a plan. He’ll have a hands-on approach to running the jail, and he has a plan that includes a drug-detection canine, properly training new employees on how to use a full-body scanner, and holding rogue inmates accountable for their behavior. I believe that Jim is the man to get the situation under control.
Vote Smith on May 3.
Dan Ransbottom, Claypool
In 2018, I publicly supported and voted for Kyle Dukes in the Republican primary and general election. Because I believe that new leadership at the Sheriff’s Office is essential to reestablish order at the county jail, I will be voting in this year’s Republican primary for Jim Smith.
There has been much discussion during this primary campaign regarding damage done by inmates in the jail. As a member of the County Council, I have a front-row seat on this issue that most voters do not. Early in my tenure, I was contacted by a county maintenance employee who was frustrated by a serious uptick in inmate damage and a lack of concern from the administration at the Sheriff’s Office. He reported that inmates were routinely smashing lights out, ripping the interiors of lights out, breaking off sprinkler heads, smashing out windows with inch-thick glass, and flooding their cell blocks, among other things. He also reported that the administration was not heeding his concerns.
At the maintenance staffs’ request, I joined them in the jail myself for an inspection. What I saw was appalling. There was extensive graffiti in the cell blocks, rampant trash accumulation, and an amount of vandalism of public property that was mind-boggling. It appeared as though the inmates had been given free-reign in the blocks.
The damage done by the inmates has not been limited to the jail itself. Since our jail is connected to the Justice Building, the consequences of the administration’s lack of control have literally spilled over into other public areas – flooding initiated in the jail causing damage to important public records in the basement and to a judge’s chambers, among other areas.
These issues have largely avoided media attention, but I assure you that they are real. As a council, our role is to appropriate funds to fix the damage and improve the facility – which we have done time and time again, at a much higher cost to the taxpayer than was ever the case before. But the problems still persist.
The response of the sheriff and his supporters during the campaign has been to point out that damage is occurring in other jails across the country. That may be the case, but that is not an invitation to continue with the status quo. The voters expect us to find solutions to problems, not throw up our hands and say they’re unsolvable.
Jim Smith has impressed me with his command of the facts, his plan for the jail, and most of all, his willingness to listen. On May 3, I hope that you’ll join me in taking the first step toward getting this problem under control by selecting Jim Smith as the Republican nominee for sheriff.
Kosciusko County Council District 2
Well, I have plenty to say to Mr. Stiffler, Kyle Dukes’ social media manager, but there are limited words to be used.
I think I would like to say first that Kyle Dukes is not running against administrations past but against Jim Smith, one of the most honest and fair people I know. I think when you try to claim Jim is playing “politics” you are trying to spin the factual shortcomings that have been pointed out against the Dukes administration as misinformation, which is not accurate. Some in law enforcement would say that Dukes spent his last few years as a trooper politicking to run for sheriff.
Second, your attack on the jail conditions when the Dukes administration took office seems a bit skewed. As you stated, you are not an insider, so you are being told the narrative the current administration wants spun. In my career I can tell you the Kosciusko County Jail always received great marks from the state jail inspections. The jail staff always worked hard to keep the jail in spectacular condition, regardless of inmate count. To say the jailers did a terrible job before Kyle took over is a real slap in the face to those officers that do great work in a thankless job. Remember, most of the jail officers there now have been there many years.
I also find it head-scratching that you speak about a revolving door for those addicted to drugs. We all know that drug addiction is an awful disease that touches all of us in one way or another. I guess my thought is the revolving door is slowing down because under Dukes’ leadership the drugs are much more prevalent in the jail, backed by the recent overdoses, the most recent one where apparently the press wasn’t notified. So much for transparency. Leadership comes from the top down, not jail staff up.
Lastly, nepotism is defined as the practice among those with power or influence favoring relatives or friends, especially by giving them jobs. Kyle Dukes said the “good ole boy” was an issue that needed to be corrected, and as I pointed out in a prior letter, that practice seems to have expanded. Dukes’ brother-in-law was a successful detective, and he did clear a lot of cases, but does that mean he was the best to be in administration? Does a person being a great chef mean they can manage a restaurant? Remember, Shane was not the only mention toward the Dukes’ “good ole boy” pattern of hiring and promoting.
I support Jim Smith for sheriff because he will put service before self, which by the actions of the current administration was clearly not the goal, regardless of the catchy slogan.
J.D. Ayres, North Webster
Remember when the “Good Old Boy System” was the enemy?
Take a journey back with me just a few short years ago, when the 2018 sheriff race was going on with the two main GOP candidates, Rocky Goshert, and Kyle Dukes. I remember when the Dukes’ camp was using the slogan “Fresh Start.” Dukes was on the campaign trail continually saying it was time for a change from the “Good Old Boy System” and how he was going to change that system. Now come back to present time, after Dukes has been in office three years. Did Dukes make changes?
After the recent article about the raise that Sheriff Dukes has given himself, I started thinking about how else he has served “Community First.” Promptly after taking office, Kyle Dukes started fixing the “Good Old Boy System” by hiring two of his friends from Noble County. Not just hiring them as deputies, but bringing them in to positions of power, disregarding the qualified merit deputies that had been with the department already serving our community. Obviously, this was not a great move for the morale of a new administration.
However, there was one more move to an even higher position. Kyle Dukes promoted his brother-in-law, to chief deputy, second in command of the entire Sheriff’s Department. Along with being the second in charge, guess who else has made lucrative gains? You guessed it! Last year, the chief deputy brother-in-law made just shy of $100,000. Dukes gave the chief deputy position a raise and changed a common practice at the Sheriff’s Department of who could claim overtime.
In my 17 years of working at the Sheriff’s Department, it was known that people in ranking positions were not to claim overtime. This change allows high ranking deputies to earn money above their salary. Some might say that there is nothing wrong with this, which may be true. However, the overtime is now being run through the pension. What does this mean? The pension for a merit deputy is based off a percentage of their three highest years of pay. Let’s say a deputy works overtime for a construction company as traffic control. The deputy gets paid by the construction company, but instead of the company paying directly, the money is run through the normal county payroll adding those wages toward that deputy’s highest three years of pay. The taxpayers are responsible to make keep the pension solvent, so the taxpayers are getting duped for a county deputy making outside money from overtime.
So back to the original thought of Kyle Dukes fixing the “Good Old Boy System.” I guess in looking at this small part of how he has hired and promoted his friends and family, Dukes has changed the “Good Old Boy System.” Kyle Dukes expanded what he claimed needed fixed and then gave those involved more money. I guess when Dukes said fix it, he meant improve it, and maybe now it should be called the “Great Old Boy System”!
J.D. Ayres, North Webster
I’m going to vote for Jim Smith for sheriff on May 3 because I think that we have a problem in the Kosciusko County Jail. I don’t write that to disparage the current sheriff or portray him as a bad guy. I think that he’s a good guy, and he’s done some good things. His advocacy for the recovering inmates in the JCAP block is particularly commendable. But the rest of the jail is a mess, and I think that we need to acknowledge it.
County Councilman Mike Long recently recorded an interview with a former county maintenance employee who quit his job in exasperation because he felt that the current administration was not listening to his concerns regarding the dramatically increased damage done by inmates in the jail. He recounted inmates managing to burn holes in lights, bend steel doors and break supposedly advanced sprinkler heads, among other things. The amount of damage and the cost that has been passed along to the taxpayer is mind-boggling. The interview is available on the “Jim Smith for Kosciusko County Sheriff” Facebook page, and I encourage everyone to watch it for yourself.
Rampant drug use and other illegal activities in the jail were brought to light during the public trial that followed a deadly drug overdose by an inmate in 2019. The trial revealed that inmates had easy access to methamphetamine and other drugs, as well as syringes, and that at least one inmate had started up a tattoo business back in the cell blocks.
The issue does not seem to have gotten much better since 2019, as there have been at least three more overdoses in the jail in the past few weeks.
The current sheriff was a state trooper before he took office and had no experience administering a jail. He brought in a jail commander from Noble County, where his father was sheriff, whose experience was with a smaller and less complicated facility. I’m sure they’re trying their best, but they don’t have the knowledge or experience to get things under control.
Jim Smith has focused much of his campaign on the issue of the jail, and he would make it a top priority if elected sheriff. He’s released a detailed plan to get the jail under control which can also be found on his Facebook page or at www.jimsmithforsheriff.com. I encourage everyone to educate yourself on this issue and vote for Jim Smith on May 3.
Steve Conrad, Syracuse
Sheriff Dukes and his surrogates have been falsely claiming that he has no choice but to be one of the highest paid sheriffs in Indiana. They claim that previous sheriffs were violating the law by charging the taxpayers less for their services. This claim is false.
The truth is that starting in 1993, the law gave every sheriff an option: They could either get paid through the statutory formula and take for themselves a cut of tax warrant proceeds, or they could negotiate a salary contract with the county council. Every Kosciusko County sheriff from 1993 until Kyle Dukes entered a salary contract, as have most other sheriffs throughout Indiana.
The law was changed in 1993 for various reasons, but one reason is that the antiquated tax warrant method of paying sheriffs can create an appearance of impropriety.
For example, Sheriff Dukes is currently using money from the Sheriff’s Office commissary fund to hire Lieberman Technologies as a contractor to collect delinquent taxes. The money collected using those Sheriff’s Office funds, under the manner of compensation that Dukes has chosen, then goes toward boosting the sheriff’s annual pay. He’s using money from the office, which could otherwise go toward benefitting the office as a whole, to benefit himself.
The tax warrant method can also lead to ridiculously high pay. Sheriff Dukes currently makes more than the Governor of Indiana. The sheriff of Marion County was at one time making more than the President of the United States.
What Sheriff Dukes is doing may not be illegal, but for a lot of people it doesn’t pass the smell test. Taking a salary contract is a more conservative and less ethically questionable way for a sheriff to operate. Voters who agree should join me in electing Republican Jim Smith on May 3.
Taylor Seward, Warsaw
Would it surprise you to learn that our county sheriff makes more money than the Governor of Indiana? Or the Attorney General, the state’s top law enforcement official? It should surprise you, because most sheriffs throughout Indiana don’t, and sheriffs in our county didn’t use to — until Kyle Dukes. Upon taking office, Kyle Dukes immediately took advantage of a loophole in state law allowing him to take the proceeds of tax warrant money and make an additional $35,000 per year more than the previous sheriff, instantly making himself one of the highest-paid sheriffs in Indiana.
The county commissioners didn’t have a choice in the matter. The county council didn’t have a choice in the matter. Every other sheriff we’ve had negotiated in good faith with our council members to set a reasonable salary. No other sheriff decided to buck the council and use the loophole to grab tax warrant money for himself. But Kyle Dukes took the path of easy money. So he got a free $35,000 per year raise, while the deputies working beneath him saw no such bonus. Acts like this are the reason that Senator Ryan Mishler and others in Indianapolis are working to close the loophole.
Jim Smith is running for sheriff this year, and there are a lot of reasons to vote for him. He’s got substantial law enforcement and military experience, he’s got a common sense, community-oriented approach to policing, and he’s going to take back control of the county jail. And even though the salary loophole still exists, he’s not going to take advantage of it. He’s promising to negotiate with the council and take a salary that is in line state-wide.
Vote Jim Smith on May 3.
Jim and Jorie Webster, Winona Lake
I realize there are many supporters on both sides for Smith and Dukes but I just want to share my opinions on why I will be voting for Smith in the May election. And for my friends at the Sheriff’s Department that agree or disagree, that's okay, we don't have to see eye to eye to remain friends. We have forged those friendships over the years and I hope you just consider my opinion on the matter.
I had worked for the Sheriff's department for 11 years before I left the Jail Division in September of 2021. I can say the jail can be a very mentally draining job but the last 2-3 years I worked there seemed to be the worst, it was very discouraging to have the administration we did, that had little to no understanding of what we do.
Excluding one time when Dukes first took office I personally never saw him step foot in the jail general population unless it was the JCAP block. I saw jail Commander Coney go to the general population blocks twice once with Dukes when he first took office and once when we had an inmate refuse to lockdown until he talked to Coney. I don't believe Coney even wanted to go back to that block until we informed Coney that the inmate will probably end up fighting and struggling with officers unless he did actually go back.
The time I actually lost faith in the Dukes administration was when myself and the jail sergeant on duty was talking to an extremely agitated and aggressive inmate outside of his cell block about the medical care he was receiving. All we could say to the inmate was we were sorry and we had to follow our jail protocols, we couldn't change the process of what was going on. The inmate kept getting more and more angry, getting louder, and clenching his fist. This caused two passing officers to stop and stand with us since everything pointed to the inmate eventually attacking one of us. At that time I looked to my left and saw Sheriff Dukes and Jail Commander Coney standing at the end of the hallway about 60-70 ft away from us. I then turned back to the inmate and continued to deal with him, thankfully we were able to get him to calm down enough to go back to his cell block and lay down. Once the situation deescalated I looked to see if our department leaders were still standing in the hallway, they were not they had left while we were still dealing with the agitated inmate. Now as I say this I know some may say that wasn't their job to talk to the inmate or they believed in us to handle the situation but if you have ever worked in law enforcement you know people just want to be heard especially by the highest ranking officers. The inmate knew me as a Corporal and the Sergeant couldn't change our protocol but he would have responded better if he was talking to the Jail Commander or better yet the Sheriff. I'm not saying every time there is a problem, call the Jail Commander or Sheriff to fix it but they were right there, they knew what was going on since everyone in shouting distance knew what was going on. I was told by a corrections officer not very long ago who is a Dukes and Coney supporter that if he was to vocalize his main complaint it would be that they don't go to the blocks so they are disconnected from what’s going on.
I understand that the Jail Commander expects staff to handle events in the jail population and I agree but the jail has had such large problems over the last few years I believe it is time for the leadership at the top to at least participate. If there is riot in the jail be there or if there is an in custody death be there. I feel this is where leaders should make their experience count. The Sheriff is in Command of the Sheriff’s Department and Jail, if there are issues he should be involved and present not only just the times the media cameras are present.
James Zimmerman, Burket
Join Me on November 8th, 2022, voting for Jim Smith for Sheriff!
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