Since the beginning of my career in law enforcement, there have been 4 District Attorneys, 3 Judges and 2 Sheriffs elected to office. Since 1996, as deputy sheriff and now Police Chief my job has given me the opportunity to establish and maintain good working relationships with all of these branches of local government . Working together is crucial in order to build professional relationships within our legal system to benefit you.
In 2008, I was elected as Police Chief of Columbia. Since that time The department has operated within its budget, having a clean audit every year. My experience with budgets will be beneficial in making sure your tax dollars are spent wisely.
My department has responded to all calls within a timely manner with almost no complaints. While employed by the department, I have always taken a hands on approach and been a full time police chief. I will continue to maintain a open door policy and make myself available at all times to the public and other police agencies . The office of Sheriff belongs to every citizen of our parish and if you trust me with your vote I will be your full time Sheriff.
INVESTING IN OUR YOUTH WORKS!
In my 18 years in law enforcement, I have come to understand that protect and serve means more than putting people in jail. Prevention and rehabilitation is just as important as getting criminals off the streets. Too many of our youth are “at risk,” meaning, if some intervention doesn’t take place, they could end up in our court system.
As Sheriff, I will work with all the people of Caldwell Parish to develop programs within the department to help youth from every neighborhood, In establishing a School Resource Officer (SRO) and to begin the O.K. (Our Kids) Program. These two mentoring programs will engage youth from every neighborhood and community in the parish. If our SRF/OK officers can invest time with our at risk youth, this will help prevent incarceration. With our community and law enforcement working together toward a common goal of protecting our youth, we can change the perspective young people may have of law enforcement. I want to help our youth become a viable part of the parish, by gaining self respect that will prevent decisions that lead to incarceration.
These mentoring programs are a tool to help at risk youth participate in positive character building activities. The purpose of these programs is to engage youth in activities they might not get to experience otherwise. Showing .our youth a world beyond what they might see around them will encourage them to participate in activities that promote a healthy community. We want to take these at risk youth on a boat ride, go fishing, go on a hike or even to visit a college campus, letting them experience something they might not otherwise experience.
Measuring the success of these programs is difficult. But what we do know is that if our kids can have some positive role models and see Law Enforcement as working with the community, not against, then we will see positive change in our community.
THE RIGHT CHOICE FOR A TOUGH JOB
While visiting door to door the most voiced concern for our parish is the drug problem. In working narcotics I have learned the process of making good drug cases that can be prosecuted. I do have a clear plan of action that I will implement.
* From day one there will be an understanding within the department that each narcotic Case will be followed through to the end no matter who you are or who is involved. When it comes to drugs I do not owe anyone any favors and will be more concerned for the welfare of the citizens of this parish than a re-election campaign in four years .
* All officers will regularly attend training classes and work with our district attorneys office to hold regular meetings to receive legal updates and be trained to investigate drug cases that can be prosecuted.
* The Sheriffs office budget will be treated as your personal budget and your tax dollars will be spent wisely, but I will make sure that the best equipment will be available to narcotic officers so the most effective undercover drugs cases can be presented to our district attorneys office for prosecution.
* A search warrant will be executed on any residence where drug activity exists and there is enough probable cause for a Judge to sign the warrant. As Sheriff I will always participate with the special response team on all of these drug search warrants.
* My policy will be no property bonds for distribution and manufacture of drugs. I believe that if you are going to sell drugs in this parish that you better save that same drug money to bail yourself out of jail. A firm but fair policy when applied to everyone equally.
* Although no person can eradicate drugs from this parish, as your Sheriff, I will be determined to continue this battle. If everyone from every area in the parish will work with law enforcement we will see a drastic reduction of not only drugs but all crime in the parish.
In 1996 I began my law enforcement career at the age of twenty-nine. Over the past 18 years I have been to many schools in a effort to better serve our parish. I would never claim to know everything because law enforcement is a continuous process that takes years to learn, receiving legal updates and attending training classes from year to year. Just like any job, you get better at it over time by constant training, learning from mistakes made and years spent doing your job.
Equally important is the ability to communicate and build a relationship with the community. Participating in activities with the public and our youth is essential in building positive relationships with law enforcement. I have always been a true Spartan fan and eager to support our schools by sponsoring our sports teams through the years. By coaching dixie youth for many years, then being a assistant coach for our high school Spartan baseball team has given me the opportunity to make memories never forgotten and to build relationships with our young people.
I have been a Christian for nearly 20 years. Currently I serve as a RA leader for the kids in my church. I am also a member of the Gideon’s, serving as the treasurer for Caldwell Parish for many years . If our youth can see your next
Sheriff and law enforcement as a positive role model working with our community, then we will see positive change in our parish.
Paid political advertisement for the Clay Bennett for Caldwell Parish Sheriff campaign