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.
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Community Policing Units, Explorer/Junior Deputy Programs will cost the Sheriffs Office valuable funds and resources which it does not have in excess. Not to mention the added unnecessary liability of having citizens and juveniles in a patrol car. I do agree that there should be drug awareness taught in all of the schools. This would not cost the agency or taxpayers and would be effective in drug prevention. Thank you Kelly for pushing the candidates to focus on the issues.
Go Glenn you are the man for the job.Blountstown need a sheriff that they can truths. And a man who love and will treat everybody the same. Sheriff Kimbrel sound like new music. God bless you Glen.
What Calhoun county needs is a man that has experience and knows the county and the people in it. Adam Terry is that man. Vote Adam Terry because he is the best choice. We don't need someone with absolutely no law enforcement background, we don't need someone who is already collecting retirement. We need someone who cares about the community and the people in it. I would rather not have a sheriff who doesn't even clean up the city he is chief of. Altha is over run with drugs. Do you ever here of the police chief there making a difference??
Community Policing will not cost the county. PLEASE..... LETS BRING THIS COUNTY INTO THE CURRENT ERA. It is funded through federal grants established during the Clinton administration.It would be an awesome and positive change for our county. We (meaning myself along with my fellow friends, family an citizens) are so ready for Calhoun County to come out of the fog. This county and its citizens have so much to offer and there are alot of great people here.
I live in Altha and to say Altha is over run with drugs is totally untrue. The over-run drug arrests that are listed in the newspapers as being in Altha, Check the address of the arrests.... Outside the city, and if its outside the city of Altha then they are Calhoun County over-run drug arrests. The drug arrests that He has made have all been convicted. Altha is a much better and safer place ever since he came in and our community relationship with our Police Chief and the Officers that work for him in the city is what makes us stronger. He goes above and beyond to be fair and helpful to us. We trust him and appreciate what he has done for this community and look forward to him doing the same for the rest of Calhoun County
After reading some of the comments this P.M., I felt it necessary to shed some positive light on our sheriffs race. First of all in reference to the comment made by yourself, yes we do need and deserve a sheriff as stated. But I will stand right here and now and tell you that we have had a very good one in sheriff Tatum. He has served this community and its citizens well. He has earned his retirement, and the right to enjoy it. I remember Sheriff Tatum sending out letters bidding for our vote years ago, and how impressed I was with what he wanted to accomplish if elected. He has been true to his word,and served us well and still continues even now. My family thanks sheriff Tatum and his family for their service to all of our community. I can only hope that whoever wins out in this election that they will move us forward into the future of law enforcement for our county. Pray for the right person for the job. That's as much of a right we have, (that was paid for in blood by our relatives and family) as our right to vote. Whomever it may be will have a lot of challenges to protect the citizens of Calhoun Co., and to tackle the overwhelming task illegal drugs present. Good luck to all the candidates running and godspeed.
In response to the person that said that Altha does not have a drug problem! I disagree! Drugs are everywhere!!!! Even Altha!!!! And you think that the chief of police in Altha would make a good sheriff! Let me start off by saying that chief Baggatt does not even work full time in Altha. When he was hired as Chief he was suppose to resign from his position at Florida State Hospital but he never did!! So chief Baggett works two jobs one full time FSH and one full/part time job chief of police! If Baggett want even honor a contract from the City of Altha then what maks you think he would be a good sheriff!!!!
I'd first like to say thank you to Sheriff Tatum for they years of dedication he gave our community. He will be greatly missed. I'd like to address the comment that Altha does not have a drug problem. My son was a student at Altha school when he was introduced to prescription drugs and marijuana. At the age of 16, I had to admit him to Twelve Oaks in Navarre, FL. He wasn't out of rehab 2 months, when old friends from ALTHA introduced him to the world of Meth. The sad facts were that the young man that was providing meth to my son was making it with his parents. My son has had an ongoing battle with his addiction. I currently have four children in Altha School and I'm appalled at the stories of what they tell me go on AT SCHOOL. In addition, every kid I know that has a drug addiction will tell you they can buy the *legal* marijuana at certain stores in Blountstown. I've repeatedly reported a local store Store for selling alcohol and tobacco to minors, yet they are never reprimanded. These things are gateway drugs to meth, cocaine, heroin, etc. In addtion to all this, there were some recent meth users picked up for manufacturing, yet released the very next day, just to be charged with additional attempting to manufacture meth charges when they went to serve the outstanding warrant for violation of conditional release. Had they just left them in jail the sheriff's office's resources could have been used elsewhere. I'm not on here to support or bash any of the candidates running for sheriff, but I pray whoever takes office will put more efforts in place to protect our children.