The County Record is pleased to begin the first round of questions and answers in our candidate interview series. Here's question number 1 in the Calhoun County Sheriff's race:
QUESTION: Describe one new program you plan to begin if elected sheriff?
RESPONSES (Candidates listed in alphabetical order)
PONEY ADAMS: I want to relocate the Sheriff’s Office. I’m thinking in the courthouse where it would be accessible to handicapped people, as well as everybody else.
JIMMY BAGGETT: I’m going to implement a community policing unit which will allow direct connection between the citizens and local law enforcement officers. This let's us know about what specific issues and concerns are within our communities in Calhoun County. As the sheriff, I will implement and create a youth initiative such as the Explorer Program. This program will be designed to provide our youth with the skills to develop character, self esteem, promote responsibility, encourage high morals, sound judgement and teach them to always strive to be positive role models.
KEN FUTCH: In the past, the Sheriff’s Office has provided a school resource officer who divides his time amongst all of the county schools. Currently, it’s my understanding there is no specific curriculum associated with this position. Given the current environment we live in, I find it necessary that we educate our youth by providing them with materials to help them in their choices as it relates to our illegal drug problem. There are a tremendous amount of resources available through the National Sheriff’s Association, Florida Sheriff’s Association, as well as other non-profit organizations, to assist and provide materials and curriculum towards this effort.
EARL HUNT: We need to have something for the kids, I do know this. I don’t know what all is out there. But we need something for the kids.
GLENN KIMBREL: I want to start a citizens academy. It’s going to include the citizens of the county that may want to come down and see what functions their law enforcement agency performs. In doing so, they may be interested enough to take my class that would allow them to provide a support role in helping me run the Sheriff’s Office. As we know, there’s always limited funds in operating a public office. So I’m looking for volunteer work to help supplement our full-time employees. I intend to start a junior deputy program. What this allows us to do is mentor the young people. It helps us form a bridge between the Sheriff’s Office and the public, which is also covered in the aforementioned program about the citizens academy. My main goal is to gain public support and that will help me better serve the public.
TOMASI MATAUTIA: One thing I’m going to start with is a junior deputy program. I’m pretty involved with the Florida Council on Crime and Delinquency. During activities we’re involved with like Special Olympics, I’ve observed the sheriff’s departments in other counties involving kids with those activities. Another program I’m interested in is getting youth trained in some trade so they can do projects for the senior citizens. That would be something to get them involved and keep them occupied during hours after school.
ADAM TERRY: It is my belief that we need to do more to prevent our children from getting on all drugs, especially to include meth. I want to do a program and I will have to work with schools. I’m not wanting to put an extra task on the teachers, but I will need to present an age appropriate drug prevention program through the schools at least once each semester to students. In that program, I also intend to cover texting and driving, alcohol and tobacco.