Today I am officially announced that I am your candidate for the Office of Sheriff in Anderson County. I grew up in this county. I am still a resident of this great county, this is my home, this where my family and I live, work and worship. The safety of my family is the most important priority and I would do anything and everything to protect them. This is the foundation of my calling to serve as your sheriff. Every family in Anderson County deserve the peace of mind that their family, their investments, their way of life is secure from those who would do them harm or take from them.
I’ve seen this battle first hand during my 14 years in law enforcement. I served as a uniform patrol officer, investigator, professional standards and internal affairs and as the former spokesman for the department. Additionally, I am a veteran of the United States Army Reserves and the SC Army National Guard. I instruct other Law Enforcement Officers in these issues as an adjunct professor at Anderson University’s Criminal Justice Program, and I am currently employed as the Director of Safety at New Spring Church. Each of these has afforded me the necessary combination of knowledge and abilities to serve as your Sheriff and ensure that each of us has a safe place to live, work, and play in our respective homes here in Anderson County.
What is going on wrong now?
Let me talk for a minute about where we are right now in Anderson County with respect to law and order. The fact is our County has been going through some really rough times recently.
You can’t cut on the local 6 o’clock news or look at the newspaper without finding out about a new crime. Law abiding citizens are just getting hammered every day by criminals. This has got to change.
I have heard from both victims of crime and concerned citizens who are worried they will become a victims of crime and they both have one overwhelming frustration: There is a lack the lack of response from the Sheriff’s office and a poor level of customer service that they feel slighted and ignored by the very Office that is supposed to provide for their safety. This is unacceptable and this MUST change!
Many citizens in our County feel that for one reason or another their area has been neglected. There is no Law Enforcement presence and to them that equates to not feeling safe. This is unacceptable and this MUST change!
The Sheriff is the commander and CEO of the Office to which you have elected him to. A CEO is responsible for managing, budgeting, and ultimately the culture of the organization. If the managing, budgeting, and culture are all promoting bad morale, then you will see people leave and service to the citizens decline. This is the current state of affairs in Anderson County, with probably the highest turnover rate in the history of the Office. This high level of attrition not only continues to deflate morale, but also cause a chain reaction to the service that is provided to our residents. If morale is bad then customer satisfaction isn’t even a priority. For the Office of the Sheriff, customer satisfaction should be the number ONE priority. It currently is not. This is unacceptable and this MUST change!
One view on the definition of insanity is doing the same thing the same way repeatedly and expecting a different outcome. Things have been done the same in Anderson County Law Enforcement for way too long—this is unacceptable!
Ladies and gentleman…with me as your next Sheriff…things WILL Change!
What I will do if elected…
First off, I want everyone to know that I do not blame all of the current deputies and staff at the Anderson County Sheriff’s office for this current state of affairs. These systemic problems have arisen over the past 8 years with a stagnant culture of unchanging management, unchanging priorities, poorly mapped strategies and policies that have been coupled with zero accountability when benchmarks are not met. There has been no progressive planning and no way to gauge the smallest success or biggest failure. Each of these are things you should expect from the person you elect and entrust with your safety. Each of these things are the ultimate responsibility of the commander and CEO. To that end, let me show you how I will be a good steward of your trust and your tax dollars.
There will be an immediate top to bottom review of each and every function, department, and allocated resource within the Sheriff’s Office to insure its value in promoting your safety. I will implement a 5 year plan to mark each and every improvement that we make. These benchmarks will allow all taxpayers to grade our service. In addition, it will allow both you, the taxpayer and receiver of services, and us, to truly validate our success and failures as we strive to meet our goals. Value for service is important, but more important is proof that the service you are receiving actually makes you safer. This open evaluation of our progress also illustrates where our funding priorities are focused; which shows you where all of your tax dollars are actually being spent.
As Sheriff, I will focus on progressive law enforcement planning, strong fiscal management, and cooperative relationships with our cities, municipalities and prosecutorial authorities.
Here are the basic 7 points of my plan -
#1 – I want everyone listening here today to know that if you elect me as your next sheriff – I will be the toughest son of a gun on crime in the country. No one will be tougher…period.
I will go ahead and apologize to our neighboring counties and Georgia, because we are going to run a lot of criminals out of Anderson County and they will need a new home.
#2 – I will use new strategies and advanced policing methods to upgrade our force. Law enforcement has changed significantly over the last decade, I plan to use a more modern approach, with better investigation strategies and some good ole common sense to cut crime and scare off any new criminals from Anderson County.
#3 – I plan to manage the Sheriff’s office like a business and be a trustworthy steward of your taxpayer dollars. Progressive Planning, Accountability, and Efficiency are three keys to running a successful business. They are also the keys to providing excellent public safety. Progressive planning means programs and personnel in place that are effective crime fighting strategies with real results. Efficiency means resources properly allocated to meet the needs of our citizens in a manner that not only detects and prosecutes crime, but serves as a deterrent to keep it from happening in the first place. Accountability means everyone is responsible for their actions, for their successes, and most importantly for their failures from the top down.
#4 - We will put the tools in place to reduce police response times. We are going to utilize the correct number of personnel to effectively respond to and investigate crimes thoroughly.
One of my first acts will be to conduct an internal performance audit of the Sheriff’s office to get more butts out of the seats that are behind desks and out on the streets patrolling our neighborhoods.
I will also announce today that the first day under my leadership, the Sheriff’s administration/command staff will be reduced by half.
A great deal of the office budget money is already being spent on command staff and non-essential personnel that do not directly benefit or serve any real purpose for Anderson County residents.
#5 - We will build a cooperative relationship with the Solicitors Office to ensure that cases move forward expeditiously and that there is appropriate justice provided for the victims and an adequate punishment for the criminals. My Office and the Solicitor’s Office must work together to reach a common set of goals. This can only be accomplished with cooperation.
As I mentioned before, we are going to be tough on crime and criminals.
As your next sheriff, our law enforcement team will be as nice as the criminals let us be or mean as they make us. Either way, we will get the job done right.
And if you are a repeat criminal watch out – we are going watch you like a hawk and make sure you never commit more crimes in this county.
#6 - We need to work street level narcotics and rid our streets of as many drugs as possible. Most of the crimes today are in some way connected to drugs. We will focus on street level drugs so we can hurt the mid-level and higher-level drug operators.
We will help relocate them to another jurisdiction by interrupting their business leaving them no incentive to come back. And we will target the interstate to intercept the drugs heading north on 85 and take the drug money heading south on 85.
#7- We are going to modernize the way we investigate crimes. We will develop a major case unit that will focus on those 20% of criminals that are committing the 80% of crime. We know who they are, we know where they live, and we know their MO’s. But instead of waiting on them to go on a burglary spree where 30 of your homes are broken into, we will get to them quicker and prevent a lot of crimes before they even occur.
If you are a victim today, you will hear “Call us if you hear anything and here's your report number". That is not excellence. We will be centered on customer service, and we will stand for nothing less. We will investigate your crimes thoroughly because we want to get these criminals before they get the next victim.
Percentages of theft are up in Anderson County and down in surrounding jurisdictions, yet Anderson County seems to lead our surrounding counties in the FAILURE to implement proactive programs and initiatives to combat this disease that has choked the quality of life from the hard working tax payer.
We need to be progressive, proactive and address the problems that the communities of Anderson County are dealing with. I want Anderson residents to feel confident we are on their side providing excellence in all aspects of police work and customer service. I will demand that our budget is spent wisely and I will settle for nothing less. Our communities deserve representation...representation on the battle field where we are daily losing the war to keep the thugs off of your property that are stealing your children's future. The current state of affairs in Anderson County is unacceptable. THIS MUST CHANGE!
Change can’t happen without you. So again, today in front of my beautiful wife and my beautiful children, this awesome crowd of friends and supporters, I formally pledge to you that I am YOUR candidate for Sheriff. Together we can affect the change we all want and know we desperately need. I need your support and look forward to working with you to make Anderson County as good as it can be…Together we will make this happen!
Thank you for coming and God bless all of you.