The position of Sheriff should not be held by a career politician. Instead, it should be held by a law enforcement professional who has worked in corrections. The Sheriff of Essex County has been an elected position since 1856, and there has never been an elected Sheriff that has worked his way up through the corrections ranks.
Having worked for over 34 years for the Essex County Sheriff’s Department, I’ve worked my way through the ranks and have a clear understanding of what is necessary to implement the care, custody, and control of inmates as well as keeping the public and staff safe. The most important tool in the Sheriff’s Department is communication. The state retirement system is already strained and it appears that the current administration does not care that officers are retiring in their early 40’s due to low morale.
In regards to the reintegration of inmates back into society, it is not conducive to lodge inmates in half way houses that are frequented by local police and are not supervised by a corrections professional. The Sheriff talks about recidivism, but through the years a vast number of inmates preparing to be released from Middleton have expressed that upon their release, they have no place to go and no money. My question is what chance do these inmates have of making a life for themselves on the outside? These are the inmates who require after care when released. Unless an individual, in this case a Sheriff, has worked up close and personal with inmates, one would not be aware of this need.
The Lawrence facility better known as “The Farm” was initially designed for non-violent inmates from Middleton that were SENTENCED and then earned the privilege to be there. Currently sending pretrial inmates that were just arrested, and have not gone through detox at the Middleton facility, SHOULD NOT be sent to an unsecure facility such as “The Farm”. The Sheriff’s Department should have more interaction with the residents of the communities that these facilities are located.
I feel with a well trained staff, along with transparency and public engagement, we can make the Essex County Sheriff’s Department an accountable agency that is an important factor in keeping communities and citizens safe. I ask that all concerned citizens of Essex County visit and like my exploratory Facebook page Jerry Robito for Sheriff. I humbly ask for your feedback. firstname.lastname@example.org