My experience with the current administration
Published 8:29 am Thursday, July 29, 2010
Marc Johnson, Guest Column
As a deputy in the Freeborn County Sheriff’s Office for the past eight years, I have decided to run for sheriff due to many areas that I feel can be greatly improved, including managing the Sheriff’s Office budget, the quality of life issues of the deputies (which in turn affects the safety of Freeborn County residents) and interdepartmental personnel.
I grew up in this community and have always worked toward becoming a deputy for Freeborn County. Growing up, I had great admiration for the deputies and previous sheriffs in Freeborn County and
followed their advice on how to become a deputy. I went into the Marines as a military police officer, was honorably discharged and continued my education, receiving my four-year degree in law enforcement from Mankato State University.
My personal thoughts of the current sheriff were that initially he had good intentions and cared about the people of the county and did a good job his first term. However, as the years progressed, it appeared he only cared about himself. He asserted to me and others about his legacy and how he needed to surround himself with only people loyal to him. At this time, this requirement of being loyal only to him was a direct command.
After winning a second term, the sheriff held a meeting where he stated he was sorry for the people that were loyal to him, but things were going to change. Some of his changes were with the deputy’s schedules, rotating hours which makes it nearly impossible to get used to a routine for sleep or any type of family life. Quality of life for Freeborn County deputies no longer exists. This change in and of itself is detrimental to the residents of Freeborn County as rarely do deputies get any quality sleep due to this constantly changing schedule, and I believe compromises public safety as a whole.
This change appeared to be unbearable for a lot of deputies and they began to leave. During the last four years, six out of 12 deputies and one out of four investigators left. I am currently a deputy and running against my sheriff as well as one of the sheriff’s investigators who is also running. I will do what is right for the employees and the tax payers and stop the unnecessary loss of seasoned officers.
The Sheriff’s Office has a $5 million dollar budget, and I know the areas where money can be saved. With this elected office the budgets are explained in detail by the accountants. I am no accountant but math is not a weak point. Example: Over four years ago the current sheriff asked me to help him with his sheriff’s accounts, I declined his inappropriate request.
The sheriff demands loyalty. I have no problem with being loyal to my God and country. This was something I was trained to do in the Marines and I still believe this today. I know that in countries that are run by dictators, loyalty is used to hush its citizens. No one person should demand loyalty to himself. To protect someone from death or harm is admirable, but to be loyal to someone no matter what they do is wrong. Loyalty is something that is earned and not demanded and when used as a demand is cause for concern.
Also, I want to dispel the current Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) contract rumors. I have concerns about the ICE contract, but I have no intentions of canceling it. My concerns are the cost, the food that is being served, the lack of housing of our own prisoners and the safety of the jail staff. Furthermore, the sheriff cannot cancel the ICE contract without the county commissioners’ approval.
As a person with morals, I no longer can sit back and do nothing about the budget and quality of life issues that I have personally seen, as well as the concerns from other residents of Freeborn County that have occurred in recent years. I believe that the current sheriff does not have the best interests in mind for the people of Freeborn County. I care enough to stand up and confront self-serving interests and other wrong doings.
I feel that due to my years of service as a military police officer as well as serving as a deputy in both Freeborn and Mille Lacs County that I am the most qualified candidate for sheriff, and I can promise you I would never be dishonest or greedy.
There are many more items that need to be addressed, and I know I can help. Come see me at the Freeborn County Fair or visit my web site at www.marcjohnson2011.com. It’s time for a change in 2011. Please, if you agree, vote Aug. 10 for Marc Johnson.
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Marc Johnson is currently a patrol deputy with the Freeborn County Sheriff’s Office. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.