First, I’d like to again thank the newspaper for allowing me space to visit with you all. I’d also like to thank all the many deputies, local law enforcement and numerous community members who have contacted me lately.
Your kind words of support and encouragement for our Sheriff’s Office are inspiring and much appreciated. You, the members of this great community, are what make our efforts worthwhile.
I love my job and feel very grateful, humbled and blessed every day to hold this position.
UNFAIR LABOR PRACTICE CLAIM
Several of you have asked me, what is the deal with this unfair labor practice claim? On May 21, 2012, the Deputies Association filed an unfair labor practice complaint against the Walla Walla County and the Sheriff’s Office with the Public Employment Relations Commission. This claim stems from county policy No. 30.04.0 regarding county employee annual vacation hour carry-over and our captain’s subsequent email reminders about this county policy so that deputies wouldn’t lose vacation time. I am confident that a fair and equitable resolution can and will be reached.
WHAT’S THE GOAL?
Many of you have also asked, what is going on and what are you trying to accomplish? My command staff and I recognized from the get-go that our new jobs would be challenging, but we also agreed that serving, protecting and preserving our county and our community in a professional and competent manner is worth every ounce of effort.
To direct and clarify that effort, I drafted our Sheriff’s Office vision, mission and core values shortly after taking office.
Every civilian and commissioned member of our Sheriff’s Office has taken an oath of office and sworn to uphold and defend the constitutions of the United States and the state of Washington, to abide by the law enforcement code of ethics and the vision, mission, values, policies and procedures of the Walla Walla County Sheriff’s Office.
Here are our goals — what we strive to embody every day.
The vision of the Walla Walla County Sheriff’s Office is to be amongst the finest law enforcement agencies in the state of Washington, one that consistently delivers the highest quality public service in an effort to make Walla Walla the safest county in the nation.
The mission of the Walla Walla County Sheriff’s Office is to safeguard the lives, property and rights of the people we serve; reduce the incidence and fear of crime; and to enhance public safety while working with our community to improve the quality of life.
Our mandate is to do so with honor and integrity, while at all times conducting ourselves with the highest ethical standards to maintain the confidence of the public we serve.
The Walla Walla County Sheriff’s Office recognizes the seven-pointed star badge of our office that we are privileged to wear as a symbol of public trust. With the heptagram (seven-pointed star) being an ancient traditional symbol for warding off evil, each point of our badge represents one of our seven core values.
Our daily actions shall embody our vision, mission, core values and code of ethics.
We shall always do what is legally and morally right. We are honest and truthful in our words, and our actions shall match our words. Our integrity will build trust and confidence.
Integrity is our moral defense against corruption.
We bear true faith and allegiance to the United States of America, the state of Washington and the county of Walla Walla. We are loyal and faithful to our fellow law enforcement officers and the citizens we serve.
We shall have the personal courage to stand up for what is right. We will remain courageous and calm in the face of danger.
We are committed to our profession, the vision and mission of the Walla Walla County Sheriff’s Office and an accountable partnership with our community.
We will fulfill our obligations with selfless service and reverence for the law.
We will be courteous, just, and impartial in all of our interactions. We respect law and order and the individual. We will apply our knowledge and experience for the best advantage of all concerned. We will treat everyone with dignity, and our decisions shall be made without personal favor.
I recognize that we are going through the growing pains of becoming a values-based organization, but our vision, mission and core values must be more than just mere words to us. They are the very essence of whom we should be for you every day and the standard by which our conduct should be assessed.
I believe ours can and should be a positive, upbeat and enjoyable profession.
As always, feel free to contact me at (509) 524-5400 or firstname.lastname@example.org. It’s an honor to serve you.
John A. Turner is sheriff of Walla Walla County.