Regarding Beverly Gianopolous’ April 25 letter, Sheriff Ron Pierini was a street deputy for all of two years before he was promoted to lieutenant. He was “handed the baton” as sheriff when the incumbent retired mid-term, inheriting a department that policed a community much like Mayberry RFD (of Andy Griffith fame).
As The R-C has pointed out, today this county is awash in drugs, with increasing instances of heroin as well as meth. Douglas County has a gang presence and is surrounded by communities with active gangs. We can no longer assume that our schools are safe from violence. It is clear that the current sheriff and undersheriff, who may have been qualified to run a “Mayberry” department, have become reactive to new realities, throwing money at problems instead of anticipating them.
The incumbent’s supporters sound more like apologists when they mischaracterize the challenger’s motives. Former police officer, Gaming Control Investigator, and former County Commissioner Dave Brady and proposed Undersheriff and former Douglas County Sheriff’s Capt. Steve Orr, now chief of Police of Lewiston, Idaho, have the education and experience to put proactive law enforcement practices into place that deal with today’s changing realities.
Dave Brady wants to begin his administration with a complete operational audit of the department’s functions and a comprehensive interview with every department employee, not a “dictatorial” housecleaning. There are now two credible challengers that have identified serious deficiencies in our sheriff’s departments management, including static patrol resources despite a five-fold increase in the department budget. Repeated versions of “everything is fine around here” tell us nothing about how these issues are being resolved.
It has been pointed out that the sheriff”s statements to the press have conflicted with information in his own campaign materials in response to Mr. Brady’s fact-finding. One of the benefits of a competitive election is to uncover the truth, something any honest candidate should welcome.
“The day we no longer feel safe could come quickly.” (BG letter 4/25)