Candidate Refutes Opponent's Claims

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Editor:

My opponent's article in the Roundup on May 11, 2004, requires a response. He states that the officers of the Gila County Sheriff's Office are not up to his standards and that he will get up at 2 a.m. to assist deputies. This office has some of the best public servants that I have had the privilege to lead in my thirty plus years in law enforcement. They do not deserve that criticism. Command staff, in both the northern and southern part of the county, are not hesitant to get up in the middle of the night to respond to emergencies. As is often the case, we are up and out anyway. Just ask our families. They will tell you that we put in long hours. During the fires and searches that Gila County has experienced in the last few years, we have spent several days straight in the field with no, or minimal, sleep.

As far as increasing our volunteer base, we are continually recruiting volunteers. Tonto Rim Search and Rescue, Payson Posse, Gila County Search and Rescue and the Sheriff's Reserve Posse are some of the most dedicated, experienced, and best equipped volunteers that you will find anywhere in this country.

This office has been extremely proactive. Witness to that fact are our youth, block watch, senior, substance abuse and, educational programs. Deputy and staff training are a top priority and they receive as much training as staffing demands will allow.

As sheriff, I have considered my accessibility to the public as one of my most important responsibilities. My home telephone number is listed in the phone directory so citizens of Gila County know exactly how to get in touch with me when the need arises.

The insinuation that the sheriff's office does not have good relations or does not cooperate with other county law enforcement agencies is totally false. That relationship, along with our relationship with the board of supervisors, is vastly improved over when I came into office four years ago, and continues to strengthen.

I think that citizens of this county are weary of negative campaigning and personal attacks. I was hoping that this campaign could focus on the issues important to Gila County citizens. I continue to offer my record and accomplishments as my platform and the reason to re-elect me to a second term as Gila County Sheriff.

John R. Armer, Gila County sheriff

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