I have had a several members of the leadership from both the DSA and the CPOA reach out to me. Both have expressed a concern that the memberships are going to be divided by the latest actions of Laurie Smith in regards to her proposal to the county and that all of us make a concerted effort to be aware of this and not let it divide us.
This is a tactic that the incumbent has taken in the past with some success. Making big promises to the CPOA got her their endorsement and support last election. The CPOA was under old leadership and accepted empty promises at face value and it has brought 4 years of division and punishment among the corrections ranks, even though you gave her what she wanted, you were still punished for making her promise to give you something in return. The CPOA is under new leadership and understands that promises to take from one and give to another are both empty and divisive and will not bring improvements over the next 4 years any more than they did the last four.
I can say the same for the DSA, under new leadership, what appeared to be collusion by some with the sheriff has gone by the wayside. No more selling out the membership, individually or as a whole, to “make friends” with the Sheriff while the board turns their head to the abuses. It may seem like not enough is happening, but the problems are stacked so deep, prioritizing these has put getting a new sheriff in office at the top so hopefully many of the other issues may resolve themselves with that simple change.
Currently, as many have seen in both the jails and enforcement, she is also working to attempt to generate this division on an individual level with all kinds of promises to certain people in both corrections and enforcement; it’s painfully evident the change in behavior of those people once promises are made to them and they have sold out what many of them have claimed to value in this career.
The message I was sent from everyone was loud and clear — both the DSA and the CPOA are working together at the top, both the DSA and the CPOA need to continue to work together at all levels. Do not allow the actions of a few who have put the betterment of their office, their co-workers and their community beneath their own selfish goals discourage you. There are not enough of them to make that happen.
There’s not enough of them to allow us to let our will flag in this battle to improve the office through new leadership and our gratification at the end is that we get new leadership who will not carry out these divisive, self-serving promises that have been made by a desperate incumbent and her equally desperate administration. Have no doubt that people who have kowtowed to the incumbent, shirking their responsibilities to the public to create a morass of demoralized deputies to rule over are not thrilled to be hearing about Kevin Jensen’s intention to create a program to enforce accountability at all levels among other improvements that will help both the office and our communities.
Remember what we came to this career understanding; most of us had goals in being a peace officer that were along the lines of doing something for people, making your community a better place, having a secure job while doing something of value, having the opportunity to help others. Some of us have forgotten those goals, and others, well they probably did come into this with nothing but self-serving goals. There are always and will always be those few who are simply looking to buy their way up the ladder. Our job is to overcome that which takes away from our integrity as a whole — it is part of our committment to do make the best decisions possible in doing the right thing in our communities. Right now, that is working to get rid of an administration that demands people revoke their values to gain a rung on the ladder.
United we stand, divided we fall. We will not allow her to divide us as she has before.
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The only way to win the election is to let people know just how precarious a position Laurie Smith has put this office. The only way to make that happen is for all of you to leave your comfort zone and get the word out.