Across our nation, law enforcement has experienced many changes over the years in the way it engages the ever-evolving criminal element. The mission requires leadership with a proven track record of creative strategies that are keenly focused and results oriented. It calls for "unconventional" problem solving that combines the efforts of law enforcement with the community it serves. The underlying goal must always be to protect our citizens' safety.
We are facing some of the most difficult economic times that many of us have seen in our lifetime. With an ever tightening budget, my goal is to provide the citizens with a Sheriff's Office that blends efficiency with effectiveness. It is incumbent upon me to seek out ways to maximize the delivery of services in ways that do not adversely impact the budget.
Though relatively small in size with nearly 30 sworn and 4 civilian personnel, the Sheriff's Office is widely diverse in its responsibilities. From uniformed patrol, criminal investigation, court security, to a number of specialized operations and civil tasks, the Sheriff oversees a wide variety of law enforcement activities that are crucial to the well-being of our citizens. My role as sheriff is to ensure that personnel and resources are utilized in the most productive manner possible.
The Sheriff's Office continues on a course of consistent and meaningful improvement from the inside out one day at a time. Administratively, roles, rules, policies and procedures are evaluated for value and purpose. Operationally, talents are matched with well thought out goals and objectives. Input from the fine men and women of the Sheriff's Office is not only welcome, it is encouraged.
Some of the changes in our society have required police to adjust in ways that would have never been imagined just a few years ago. As a graduate of North Caroline High School, I never dreamed of the day as a teenager when a police officer would be stationed at a Caroline County School, much less become an integral part of the day-to-day activities there. With deputies now assigned to schools in both ends of the county, the results speak for themselves and have proven effective in providing a safer environment for staff and students alike. We constantly seek out ways to improve this initiative even more, thus enhancing the role of those specialized officers within the school community.
The malicious use of social networking increasingly challenges law enforcement. Developing at an amazing pace, the benefits of social networking are sometimes overshadowed by the risks, especially to our young folks. Bullying for example, has gone from something that was once viewed as a minor incident on school grounds to a high tech dissemination of vicious attacks with potentially devastating effects. Investigators are provided the tools and training to stay abreast of social networking and are prepared to respond when it adversely affects our citizens.
The Sheriff's Office serves as the local registration agency for all sexual offenders including sexually violent predators. With registered sex offenders living throughout the county, the task of tracking their whereabouts is a huge responsibility requiring dedication and focus. The Sheriff's Office must be ever vigilant in carrying out this important mandate which many would argue is one of the most critical. Since I took office in December of 2010, the Sheriff’s Office has created a grant funded position for a part-time deputy who specializes in the management and compliance enforcement of those registered as sex offenders in Caroline County.
Considering the many challenges facing law enforcement today, cooperation among police agencies has never been more important. With crime routinely overlapping jurisdictional boundaries, individual law enforcement agencies simply cannot do it alone. To be successful, it is crucial for police to be proactive in their efforts to communicate and share resources. My command staff and I personally meet with allied police leaders and drug task force supervisors as well as support agencies on a regular basis to foster relationships and promote an attitude of synergy toward common goals.
The key to success for any law enforcement agency is rooted in its partnership with the community. In fact, my years of leading narcotics task forces have taught me that community input is the single most important element to any winning plan. I welcome community involvement and encourage every member of the Sheriff's Office to be stakeholders in the areas they serve. Well trained police officers coupled with a pro-active community is one of the best anti-crime investments we can make.
The very lifeblood of any dynamic law enforcement agency is measured by its ability to adapt. Those that excel, fill their ranks with leadership and personnel willing to accept new ideas, fresh initiatives, and who possess a strong resolve to find better ways to accomplish the often daunting tasks of law enforcement. My goal is to keep the Sheriff's Office on a course of continual improvement. Some advances will take time and others will be budget driven, however my mission is to lead a Sheriff's Office that is consistently forward thinking, energetic and committed to serving the citizens of Caroline County to the best of its ability.