If you are concerned about law enforcement and the role it plays in controlling crime and in administering justice in Scioto County, you have a very important decision to make on election day. Three candidates are running for Sheriff of Scioto County. Each man will bring his own ideas and strategies into office if elected. The candidates are
Sheriff Marty Donini – Republican incumbent
Steve Goins – Democrat challenger
Charles Horner – Independent challenger
Considering the state of the county, the sheriff, the number one enforcement officer, has a huge job of leadership on his hands. The drug abuse that has devastated the area has been a major cause of escalating criminal activity. As we all know, people are tired of high rates of property crime, public order crime, and violent crime. Now, citizens are speaking out and calling for stricter and more effective measures to combat the actions of criminals who pose a very real threat to their homes and to their families.
The long-practiced status quo methods of law enforcement are not effective in promoting positive change. Whoever becomes sheriff must instill new proactive measures and make better use of his present resources in order to serve the public. A populace that is content with enforcement's application of “business as usual” helps propagate a department that too often shows little concern about the victims of crime.
For far too long in Scioto County, people have heard excuses from the Sheriff's office. The department spreads excuses throughout the county about lack of funds, lack of manpower, lack of cooperation, and lack of tools that would allow them to be more effective. It is time for the public to see these grounds for inadequate performance for what they really are – makeshift subterfuge.
A sheriff's department that is not cooperative and communicative with its electorate performs its duties without the key component to stopping crime. That key component is the trust of the public. Without public trust, the agency stagnates in their ineffectiveness while using excuses for their lack of action. They become lazy, content with existing conditions, and more concerned with politics than with providing order and justice.
If the county, in their experience, finds the sheriff's department has a lack of concern through inadequate cooperation with the public and through a lack of thorough criminal investigation, the people soon lose trust. When they lose trust in enforcement, they realize their true plight in the face of crime. What is their plight? They have become victims of their own ineffective, inattentive public servants and taxpayers that unwilling bolster private, political concerns.
No one is more aware of victimization by the department than the underprivileged. They often lack the means to adequately protect themselves, and once victimized, they believe their pleas for justice will be judged as unimportant "squawk" from those with little or no influence and little or no power to complain. Is it any wonder many have learned to shun officers and act in their own behalf?
Indifference supported by excuses becomes commonplace in daily practice. Officers led by misguided, inept, political leaders lack the essential spirit and integrity to fight the system and do their jobs well. Instead, the officers, willingly or unwillingly, “go along with the program.”
At best, equality and justice become “hit and miss” depending upon the attainment of certain assets to the regime. After all, money and power lay in the balance to tip the scales of justice despite the truth. The leadership can simply manipulate any “truth” judged harmful to the regime. This has been a major problem in Scioto County for decades.
So, I ask you to vote for the man you judge can win your trust. That requires a thorough investigation of each candidate's platform, history, and purpose. If none can articulate the change he will attempt to make while in office, then, at best, Scioto County will stay the same. Don't be fooled by excuses. But, at the same time, don't be bedazzled by false promises. Please, vote wisely.
In my mind, whoever wins the vote for Scioto County Sheriff must
- Change the operations of the present ineffective office,
- Articulate a definite plan for achieving better enforcement,
- Pledge to become an officer who enforces the law with equality,
- Pledge to uphold justice, not influenced by a political party or by favored social groups, and
- WIN THE TRUST OF THE PUBLIC WITH INTEGRITY AND TRANSPARENCY, NOT WITH POSITION.