Election Critical To Shaping Up Sheriff's Department

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Hopefully this letter will give readers pause to consider the importance of the Gila County Sheriff's race and the primary election Sept. 12. Of course, one can "early vote" up to Sept. 8 by going to the assessor's office diagonally across from the post office. One cannot miss the signs.

In preface, I and my wife retired from Michigan to Payson seven years ago and have sung its praises to anyone who is considering retiring. However, like many retirees we have met, our attitude for sometime was, "We did our time and fought the good fight let others carry the torch. We just want to relax in peace."

Sound familiar to anyone?

Alas, it was not destined to be in our case. I served as jury foreman on a grand jury for four months, two and a half years ago. Yes, I traveled to Globe and performed what I considered my civic duty. It was during this time that I met Dennis "Dino" McCarthy, who was a deputy county prosecutor. (He's) now running for Gila County sheriff.

Just prior to (our) meeting, Dino McCarthy was given the distinctive honor of being named, "Prosecutor of the Year" for the entire State of Arizona. I later learned this prestigious honor was the first and only time Gila County has received that distinction. Prosecutor McCarthy oriented our jury as well as presented several cases before us. I came away from that four-month experience with a sense of accomplishment and admiration for one of the court's officers Dennis McCarthy. For me, it was a great and rare privilege to meet someone in public service who maintained such high standards.

Cruising along in my idyllic world of retirement, secure in my knowledge that I raised a civic- and productive-minded family, my wife chose to return to the work force. Three years ago to present, my wife (has worked) at the Gila County Adult Probation Department. Of necessity, she came into contact with all manner of law enforcement (agents) as well as law breakers. Needless to say, due to my wife's employment, my view of Payson being just a quiet little sleepy mountain town soon came to an end. Please don't misunderstand; Payson to me is still the very best place to live. However, I have learned that Payson and Gila County have an underside that most residents remain oblivious to. Payson, on the other hand, is in far better shape than the rest of the county as a result of a very fine and professional police department.

The Gila County Sheriff's Department, as many of you have heard or read in the newspapers, is in dire need of reform. Even though our Roundup does an exemplary job of investigating and reporting, they are limited and not privilege to the full impact that our sheriff's department has had on the safety and economic security of each and every resident.

This letter cannot go into all the problems affecting the sheriff's department and the low morale of the deputies. Suffice it to say, this sheriff's election is far more serious than people seem to realize.

In closing, I urge you to take the time to talk to law enforcement (agents) concerning the sheriff's department and then go vote. (I) hope it is for Dennis "Dino" McCarthy.

Jerry Daugherty, Payson

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