I had the pleasure of having a one-on-one conversation with sheriff's candidate John Turner and am more convinced than ever that he is the right man for the job. I have lived in Walla Walla for more than half my life, and have seen my share of political races. This year's voters need to decide what they want more: Status quo or a safer community.
Certainly, it's unfair to contest that Bill White is good at what he does, that is not the issue. The issue lies in the fact that the crime rate in Walla Walla continues to increase, business and residences are at the mercy of being riddled with graffiti, and neighborhoods and church parking lots are now serving as the platform for gang fights.
Current Sheriff Mike Humphreys stated last week in his endorsement for Mr. White that "He knows the budget and can work within a budget. He knows patrol and investigations." Sentiments like those ring throughout the endorsements of him, and that is certainly an accomplishment of which he should be proud.
But Walla Walla isn't the same place as it was just a few years ago, and the focus must now shift on prevention versus post-crime investigation and I believe that with his pledge to increase the volunteer reserve officers, and his community meetings John Turner will be able to do just that. It will take time, but it can and should be done.