Q: If elected, what will I do differently or improve on?
A: The first, and most important change that needs to be made is the culture of law enforcement in our county.
Am I talking about the employees? NO. Some of the finest people you will ever meet currently work as school resource officers, on the road and in the jail.
I am referring to the culture that causes the county to be a revolving door, where we pay to send deputies to mandate school, only to have them leave for another agency once certified.
I am referring to the culture that causes us to lose outstanding qualified employees because they have been passed over for a promotion based on politics.
I am referring to the culture that uses these officers for photo ops, not to recognize the officer, but to promote a political agenda via “good works”. (Side note: I am all for helping people in need, and I believe that some of the ministries that are currently run from the Sheriff’s office are truly helpful. The jail ministry has been around for a long time. So many of you have offered ideas to improve and expand it even further, and I look forward to making that happen. However, I don’t believe that it is necessary to pull a deputy or an Investigator from their duties to deliver items or run errands unless an emergency requires it. Instead, let’s team up with existing groups that are already in place to handle these requests. Our churches are always looking for ways to serve. There are teens in high school clubs that need to earn “points” for volunteering. Give them the opportunity to meet up on a Saturday morning and deliver to those in need. There are those who volunteer for community service to improve their resume. This is the perfect opportunity to help and gain a reference from the Sheriff’s office. This way, we keep deputies on the road protecting our citizens, we increase the reach of community programs, young volunteers gain some experience. Everyone wins).
By and large, I am referring to the culture that causes great employees to disengage. They protest silently with their heart, their ideas and opinions, and their work. Employees eventually will stop trying if they feel undervalued, not heard or disrespected. When their ideas are ignored, when the credit for their effort is taken by someone who never visited the scene, they will stop caring, become less productive and their quality of work suffers.
Can you see how culture effects every day duties? Are they going to take the time to become familiar with the residents and businesses in the county? Will they notice a vehicle in your business parking lot that shouldn’t be there? Are they familiar with you enough to notice something out of the ordinary when driving by your home?
If elected, my goal is to create the right environment for these men and women that will enable them to be successful. I envision a team passionate about their jobs, whose actions exemplify our values. A team who, with every encounter, leaves citizens feeling like they are at the heart of what we do (because you ARE).
By making sure every employee understands that THEY matter and why their WORK matters. I am asking as many churches as are willing, to partner with us to pray over these men and women who will be on the front line in our battle against drugs, gangs, and those who prey on the weak.
By making sure that our values are practiced throughout the organization from top to bottom. Talk is cheap, and words mean nothing if your actions don’t match up. You show who you are by what you consistently do.
By making sure that the employees are engaged in activities and duties that provide real value, both to themselves and the citizens of the county.
By making sure that people are in the correct roles, and that their duties match up to their skill sets and their passions.
By empowering officers to make decisions that are aligned with the mission and the values of the department.
I believe in leading by serving those in my charge. I am ready to work hard to make a difference in their lives, and that is the first step in making a difference in yours.
a message from Rusty...
COUNTDOWN TO ELECTION DAY