Sheriff candidate Adam Shepherd’s position defending the sheriff’s office policy on officers drinking is appalling, as is the policy itself. He seems to feel because a policy is old it’s good. Really?
For decades society has recognized that even small amounts of alcohol can impair our judgment, especially when assessing our own sobriety. We have tough drinking and driving laws in place for good reason. Citizens are expected to abide by them. Officers of the sheriff’s office should not be above the laws they enforce daily.
Candidate Shepherd also stated that no officer has abused this policy. But, the recent events concerning a sheriff’s office sergeant indicate otherwise to me.
The sergeant consumed alcohol off duty, declared himself sober after receiving an emergency call, raced to the scene (presumably in his vehicle, not on foot) which implies he drove for miles at high speeds. At the scene, he ineffectively exchanged gunfire with a murder suspect who escaped. He did all this without notifying a supervisor of his drinking so never received verification he was “fit for duty” a direct violation of policy. Is this not an abuse of said policy?
Sheriff candidate Craig Jones is right. This policy needs to go. It has lawsuit imbedded right in it. But candidate Shepherd would keep it. Really?
As most of us know, the sergeant who started this controversy received only a slap on the wrist, a memorandum of concern in his personnel file.
What most of you may not know, is the deputy who suspected the sergeant was intoxicated at the scene and had the courage to relate this to his lieutenant was transferred from Payson to Roosevelt Lake. This is a huge loss for Payson as his arrest record is exemplary. Maybe such actions within the sheriff’s office are the reason morale is so low.
Simply put, real change is needed here. These are the men and women who serve and protect us as citizens. We need the best.
Don’t vote for someone who would continue to adhere to outdated and bad policies.
We need someone with innovation. Someone who will think outside the box and is willing to change what needs to be changed. Really.