What To Look For When Choosing A Sheriff's Candidate - And Response (3)

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Undoubtedly, Ken Moses was a good firefighter and his 29-years of experience should be a testament to that. There is little doubt that Chris Harvey is a good man, because if he were not, Sheriff Hammond would have already terminated his employment. However, Ken’s logic and reasoning in the selection of a sheriff is seriously flawed. 

First, I doubt if Ken has felt any heat from this sheriff’s race, since, as indicated below, the qualifications for sheriff in this race all belong to Sheriff Hammond. 

The last time I voted for a street experienced candidate for sheriff he turned out to be a great disappointment. You may recall Billy Long, who is now serving a lengthy federal prison sentence with the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

Yes, it is without saying that Mr. Harvey has a lot of street experience, but does he have any management and administrative experience? The answer is no, he does not have the experience that Sheriff Hammond has as a chief deputy, administrator over the academy that trained new police recruits in the Middle East, and he doesn’t have a proven track record as a sheriff, as does Sheriff Hammond.

The only criticism that I have of our present sheriff is that he does not toot his own horn as to the numerous accomplishments that his office has made while he has been the sheriff. Yes, the positive in Sheriff Hammond’s administration may be the best kept secret of this area.

I would strongly encourage all members of the community to go to the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office’s website and check-out the accomplishments of this office.  It is impressive, to say the least.

Last year’s annual report provides mounds if information as to the accomplishments of our sheriff’s office and the awards given to personnel who have done an excellent job for us, the taxpayers and residents of this county.

We now need to ask the important question. Who has a proven track record as an effective sheriff and administrator? There is only one person, and that’s Jim Hammond. The appreciation for Sheriff Hammond’s dedication to our community should be shown at the poll, returning him to the 0ffice of the sheriff.

Don T.D. Gala, Ph.D.

(Dr. Gala addresses numerous issues in education, delinquency, crime, corrections, and organizational assessment. He is an author; public speaker; freelance writer; has more than eight years of experience as an adult trainer, including five years as an associate professor; and he retired after more than 20-years as a federal law enforcement officer/CTS with the U.S. Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Prisons. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Rochester, as well as an M.S.Ed., and M.A. from the University of Central Oklahoma.) 

* * * 

Dr. Gala,

Undoubtedly you are extremely well experienced and highly educated as your credentials read almost as long as your article. I have had the opportunity to work for both candidates and have observed their actions during disasters when strong, compassionate leadership was needed. 

First I would like to address your opinions title "What To Look For When Choosing A Sheriff's Candidate."  You never truly explained what to look for. Our citizens and department should have a sheriff who demonstrates several key characteristics: the ability to communicate our goals and objectives in a clear, simple, concise manner, a firm understanding of the law and how those laws should be enforced, an ability and strong desire to work with our county officials toward ensuring our citizens safety and the needs of the professionals who work for the department, honesty, directness and integrity. Finally he should be committed to serving the best interests of Hamilton County. 

Those are examples of what to look for in our candidates for sheriff. You disgrace yourself and the entire law enforcement community by asserting street experienced officers are equivalent to Billy Long.  Billy Long made his own extremely poor decisions.  I assure you and our citizens the law enforcement community was and still is in pain because of his choices. For you, a supposed, law enforcement professional to imply a street officer or Chris Harvey are representative of Billy Long is by far the dirtiest political trick I've witnessed. 

The people of this county will see through your politically based ploy. You can be assured your opinion has indeed made the selection of whom to vote for far easier. 

I will select a candidate who shows passion for his profession, true Integrity, and who speaks the truth over a politician/manager. You owe all street police and Chris Harvey and apology if not an outright retraction. 

Bernd RW Haines
Sergeant Major Retired
Proud Street Officer

* * * 

Dr. Gala, like myself and others, has strong feelings on the sheriff's election. Some, such as the International Brotherhood of Police Officers and those that voted in the Chattanoogan.com poll believe its time for a change. They support Chris Harvey for sheriff. Others, such as Dr. Gala, believe Jim Hammond, the current sheriff should be reelected. America allows these differences of opinion to be settled at the ballot box. 

Dr. Gala wrote; "The last time I voted for a street experienced candidate for sheriff he turned out to be a great disappointment. You may recall Billy Long, who is now serving a lengthy federal prison sentence with the Federal Bureau of Prisons." The insinuation made is any street experienced candidate for sheriff will turn out like Billy Long. Dr. Gala couldn't be further out of touch with reality. Chris Harvey is no Billy Long nor is Jim Hammond nor are the brave men and women of the sheriff's office that patrol our streets and maintain our county jail. 

Like any profession there are bad and bruised apples in the barrel. I could list instances where those sworn to uphold the law violated their oath. But I could also list many that served in the clergy and violated the trust of their parishioners. I could list doctors that sought the dollar instead of the well being of their patients. As for bankers and investors; do I really need to go there? I wouldn't insinuate every clergy or doctor or banker is going to betray our trust. 

Whomever you vote for is your business. Both sheriff candidates have their own experiences and background to present to the voters. I ask this from you Dr. Gala, or anyone else that writes a letter in support of Jim Hammond or Chris Harvey: do not demean the character of the men and women that patrol our streets and serve in the jail. Yes, Dr. Gala there has been bad and bruised apples but not all are Billy Long. The deputies that serve Hamilton County have street experience. They are real law enforcement officers that doesn't mean they are drug dealers. 

George Jackson

 * * *

Don wrote an interesting article endorsing the sheriff but it couldn't be the current sheriff of Hamilton County. For instance, Don insinuated the current sheriff would terminate those deputies that aren't good people. He didn't terminate an officer that exploited his being an authority figure and had an inappropriate relationship with a minor. He didn't terminate an officer that bought and supplied alcohol to minors. The current sheriff didn't terminate an officer that stole pills from the property room. Nor did he terminate a deputy chief for pressuring a subordinate officer to do that chief's state mandated course work. He did give that deputy chief a merit raise to, as the sheriff says, recognize the chief's hard work. Nor did he terminate a deputy chief that harassed numerous correction officers.  

Yes, Hammond has administration experience; but not the kind we need to re-elect.  

Michael Scallia 
My experience is being a small business owner in the heart of Hixson

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