The Important Issues
REAL solutions for our Jail
In the months leading up to the primary election, many statements were made about the condition of the county jail. The competence, dedication and work ethic of the staff were called into question, and all the blame was placed on the current sheriff. I’m familiar with the saying, “The first rule of leadership is that everything is your fault.” There is much truth to that, but I do not believe the jail situation was portrayed accurately or honestly.
We can see that damage has been done to the jail. There are drugs in our jail. People have been overdosing in our jail. Those three things are facts. I would argue that the reasons aren’t entirely what some have claimed. Misdirections and half-truths have been spread. I want to shed light on a more accurate picture of what is happening, and some of the causes.
Our jail staff is younger, newer, and more inexperienced than at any other time in my 15 years with the sheriff’s office. That creates unique challenges that must be overcome – but they are no one person’s fault.
I’ve had many conversations with jail staff lately. We’ve discussed their problems and how we can work to solve them.
Our jail staff doesn’t need a sheriff who declares he is going to roll up his sleeves and single-handedly come into the jail and fix what he claims they have been so inept at. They need leadership that will give them the support they need to do the job they already know how to do. That’s the kind I will provide.
The true first rule of leadership is “Take care of your people.” I learned that by serving under excellent leaders during my time in the Army. There is no greater challenge or honor than leading soldiers in combat, having them trust you with their lives and follow you.
A good leader cares for and supports their subordinates – not berating them or humiliating them in front of others, and certainly not in front of the public and the media. Our jail needs true leadership. I intend to give it. I will support the staff as they solve the challenges they face.