My Turn, Mike Vickers: Sheriff’s position should be to serve and protect

Published 12:00 am Sunday, November 6, 2022

By Mike Vickers

When it comes to the office of sheriff, I’ve always felt that the position should be like judge and nonpartisan. The chief law enforcement for the county shouldn’t be influenced by political agendas and solely focus on service to the county’s citizens, which they have sworn to serve and protect, with equal focus on both of those ideologies, serve and protect.

I supported a candidate in the primary that I felt honestly had the best intentions to serve the people of Rowan, and even though he lost, two others in the primary could have done an excellent job, just not as great as the one I thought was best.

But the choice of 3% of the voters in March got it wrong regarding the best direction of the sheriff’s office. I would guess it’s because of mixed messages given by the candidate or lack of knowledge of the whole field, but nonetheless, Mr. Allen is not the answer for what Rowan County needs to progress.

Just look at the comments he makes in election forums; response times are up while calls are not; let me say that again, it takes longer to get to calls for service but not because there are more calls, and that’s even with handling calls over the phone, which isn’t service. Extended responses must be a lack of supervision, ensuring cars stay in their zones and maybe not an entire side of the county responding to calls, not in the area, self-initiated, and not dispatched by communications. Closing local drug houses, well, one candidate withdrew from the primary and said he contacted you repeatedly along with a video of a suspected drug house with no response or action taken.

Mr. Allen’s idea that mental health is not a function of the office of sheriff is laughable. Mr. Allen, you know that the drug problem in our county is killing people and is a concern for all; it’s an addiction and is considered a mental health issue, and it is especially an issue for the sheriff’s office. You need to seek funding and partnerships; your stance just shows that you cannot wrap your mind around the problem and have no idea what solution is required. The office utilizes Narcan for drug overdoses, which are a mental health problem; it’s called addiction.

No one condones illegal activity, but your archaic way of thinking is dangerous and useless. The drug-related crime problems must be addressed; you seem fine with just pointing fingers. Your words, “Society is the issue, not law enforcement.”

Law enforcement is not the problem, but it has to be a leader for the community and an ethical and moral standard for its citizens. Not one that overlooks misconduct, you could’ve done something with the knowledge you had about the possession of the firearm, but you choose to point the blame at the outgoing office holder. Instead, you should continue digging in the dirt for hours and posting it on YouTube.

Mike Vickers lives in Salisbury

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