The Sheriff's Office should be actively engaged with all members of our community. Interactions should be open, honest, and ongoing. According to a July, 2017 survey conducted by CGR, the following issues were identified under the current leadership at the Sheriff's office.
"Following up with the Sheriff's department is more challenging and inconsistent, preventing relationship building".
"Outside the City of Ithaca, there is less openness to having a dialogue with the community without it becoming a "thing".
"People who live in areas just outside the City don't feel they get responsiveness from the Sheriff".
These issues are unacceptable and under my leadership will be addressed immediately. Give me a chance to show you how!
HONOR, PRIDE & INTEGRITY
For a law enforcement agency to be an effective community partner it needs to be trusted and respected. As your Sheriff, I will serve Tompkins County with honor, pride, and integrity, and will expect nothing less from my staff members. When these expectations are met, relationships can be created leading to a better Tompkins County.
Tompkins County is fortunate to benefit from a culturally diverse community. Our diversity should be celebrated and not a point of contention and divisiveness. Mutual respect can be achieved through openness and understanding. It cannot occur without empathy and partaking in a quest to understand our differences. As humans, we may not always agree on certain topics, but we must strive to identify our common values. A feeling of safety and security is one of them.
THE DRUG EPIDEMIC
Without a doubt the current opioid epidemic facing our community has had crippling effects. The real challenge is that this issue goes way beyond, "locking up the drug dealers". While effective law enforcement is needed to identify and apprehend the peddlers of these addictive substances, we also know that this issue has negatively impacted far more than the "typical" criminal. Many of us have seen the impact on working professionals, loved ones, and students of all ages and backgrounds. I will tackle this issue with a multi-faceted approach that protects victims and leaves room for a compassionate approach to healing the addicted.
The Sheriff's Office cannot operate without the tax-support of hard-working individuals. Therefore, as Sheriff, I vow to safeguard your hard-earned dollars through careful and responsible expense tracking. While serving as Undersheriff, I reduced road patrol overtime by unprecedented levels. Shortly after my retirement I was saddened to see this budget item balloon to astronomical proportions. When questioned by the Legislature about how this occurred, Ken Lansing's administration, stated, "and again, I was not even, I wasn't even looking in this direction until it was brought to our attention..." This carelessness cost taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars.
The biggest concern of many of our fellow residents is prompt response to, and the diligent investigation of criminal activity. My dedicated passion for victims, especially those that are most vulnerable, is unwavering. As a citizen of Tompkins County, you have the right to feel safe and secure at home, in your workplace, or at school, regardless of your race, age, or orientation. Your safety will be given the same priority that would be provided by me to my own children and loved ones.
Although a focus on restoring the lives of crime victims should always be at the forefront of our efforts, the criminal justice system is not served simply through incarceration. We have all experienced being wronged by someone and human nature tends to demand retribution. However, if we do not properly curb criminal behavior in a positive and meaningful way, we cannot prevent future victimization. I am the only candidate that has actually worked with hard-core criminals in an effort to turn their lives around and re-integrate them as productive members of society.