In his statement at the candidates' forum, Sheriff Hessler said that he did not like to be told what to do and he did not like to tell others what to do. At times it is very necessary for the sheriff to tell others what to do. With the news media reporting growing gang violence in small communities, and the fact that, in one school in western Washington, there were 40 cases of heroin addiction among youth 14 to 17 years old, we don't need a sheriff who takes enforcement so lightly.
Hessler returned about $70,000 in grants that could have been used for alcohol education and an RUAD (Rural Underage Drinking Prevention) officer in our schools. With the recent rash of burglaries, a good K-9 unit would have been helpful, but Hessler discontinued our unit shortly after taking office.
Moreover, a good tracking dog could have been very useful in the missing-person case in Starbuck, which wasn't investigated for over six months.
Hessler recently announced that we now have 24 hour coverage. He just thinned out the coverage with the present staff, leaving much of the day with only one deputy. Do you think that criminals and emergencies are going to be so obliging as to schedule one crime or event at a time?
What about the scheduling? With 12 officers including the sheriff available, at five shifts per week for each, there would be 60 shifts covered. 24 hours equals three 8-hour shifts, which equals 21 shifts per week. This provides nearly three officers per shift. I am not aware of all that is involved in assignments, but it gives one cause to ponder.
With the recent rash of burglaries and the likelihood of more gang violence and more drug trafficking, we need the best law enforcement.
Mark Franklin is the best-trained investigator on the force, the best-trained member in dealing with domestic violence, and the only trained K-9 handler.
If elected sheriff, Mark would reinstitute the K-9 unit and see that deputies get the same level of training.
Given the present situation and the likelihood that things will worsen, we need Mark Franklin, who will use his integrity and considerable skills to enforce the law firmly and fairly. I urge all who care for Dayton's future to vote for Mark Franklin for sheriff.