Note: Some of the responses have been abbreviated for length and/or edited slightly for clarity
Why am I running for Sheriff?
Over the 26 years I’ve been a deputy I’ve watched the sheriff’s office rise to be in a great position, and then I’ve witnessed its decline, as the men and women who are so dedicated and at the same time under-appreciated are just not getting the proper resource and the proper motivation from leadership. To be honest, I got tired of sitting on the sidelines killing myself, saying ‘If I were sheriff, I’d change this or that.’ I said I’m going to get out and do something about it.
What is the biggest challenge facing Greenville today from a law enforcement perspective?
It’s multi-faceted. Nationwide, law enforcement is facing an uphill battle. Let’s face it- not a lot of people want to be cops anymore. There’s a negative backlash, for one, but even more than that is the fact that the men and women who serve aren’t allowed to do the job they want to do. We get into this job to put criminals in hail. But the shortage of manpower and the call volume far exceeding the number of deputies, we’re basically relegated to being armed report-writers. We write a report as quickly as possible, then move on. Morale is low because we can’t do real police work anymore.
What would be my number one goal when first taking office, and how would I go about achieving that goal?
Increasing manpower. It’s more than a practical issue, it’s a morale issue. It affects the citizens as well as the deputies. If the citizens aren’t happy because of the long waits to get a deputy on the scene, and if the deputies are only able to just write a report and move on, it’s a lose-lose for both parties. More people is a must, but as is evidence through the last sheriff, we’ve had issues of alleged mismanagement of money. I’ll be a good steward of the budget and more than that, of the faith of the citizens of the county.
What distinguishes you as a candidate?
I’m 48 years old and started with the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office when I was 22, so I’ve lived half my life wearing the uniform of a sheriff’s deputy. That doesn’t give me a free pass by any means, but it does give me thorough knowledge and experience of what goes on internally. I know the people, the inner workings. I know the issues taking place inside. And I also have a vision plan on how to fix those. I’ve worked every beat. I’ve talked with countless community members, put countless criminals in jail, helped countless victims of all crimes. I’m married with three kids, so I’m not only professional invested in this community, but personally invested as well with my family.
What’s something people might not know about you?
I’m a history buff. Specifically I’m a huge fan of General George S. Patton, and I quote him regularly. The quote I like the most is: “No good decision was ever made in a swivel chair.”