With the impending retirement of Sheriff Armer, voters are about to elect a new Gila County sheriff. Selecting the most experienced professional with proven leadership is critical to the safety of Gila County residents.
As a person who has been an assistant chief, and then the chief, in two separate 1,000-plus member public safety organizations, I’ve hired and promoted a lot of people. That experience allows a prediction of what qualities and experience are needed to ensure the selection of a professional and successful chief executive officer. My vote goes to Adam Shepherd for Gila County sheriff.
A law enforcement officer doesn’t just jump from a street officer to being a successful and competent chief executive. Today’s sheriff needs advanced education which brings competent analysis and critical thinking skills for effective decision making. A history of broad experience in different escalation positions within an organization and proven performance at senior management positions is essential preparation. Budgeting and finance skills are critical (especially in today’s economy). Being politically astute and having a positive and professional relationship with other sheriffs and local police chiefs, county manager, elected officials and the public are also essential.
Grant writing skills can bring revenue to the sheriff’s office. The U.S. Department of Justice offers more than $27 billion annually in grant monies to law enforcement agencies. In today’s economy, it’s critical that a sheriff has grant writing skills to bring these monies to the sheriff’s office.
Adam Shepherd has all of the above described education, experience and skills necessary to be a professional and successful sheriff. He has broad budgeting experience and has obtained more than $2 million in grant monies for the sheriff’s office. His competitor has little budgeting experience. Shepherd has served in multiple ranking positions within the Gila County Sheriff’s Office during his 27-year career leading up to undersheriff — third in command and responsible for all field operations and assisting the sheriff in planning, directing and reviewing all activities of the sheriff’s office. His competitor has 23 years experience as a patrol officer but has only temporarily acted as a sergeant during his career. Shepherd has a bachelor’s degree with a major in Public Agency Administration. His competitor does not have a degree.
Adam Shepherd is clearly the most qualified candidate for sheriff and I urge readers to consider him for their vote.
Gary P. Morris, fire chief, Seattle Fire Department, retired; assistant fire chief, Phoenix Fire Department, retired; Strawberry, Ariz.