Wed
Feb 13 2008
08:20 am

I have mixed thoughts on this one. I wonder if Sheriff Stockton thought this one all the way through?

So what do you think? Shouldn't we have the expectation of having the best and most responsible law enforcement personnel we can find working for our County?

I, too, started to have mixed thoughts...

... but I thought better of it.

"Shouldn't we have the expectation of having the best and most responsible law enforcement personnel we can find working for our County?"

Indeed. Working in the jail as a corrections officer (read that jailer) is not the same as working the outside world as a law enforcement officer. If you believe it is, ask the corrections officer working in the jail who is trying to get promoted to "work the road."

Based on the entirety of the article, written by WC's "fave", Damon Lawrence, Sheriff Jack Stockton did more than "take him at his word." If Lawrence's words can be taken at face value, the Sheriff also followed up on Kirby's pledges, as evidenced by this Lawrence quote of Stockton: “We discussed that issue and he went and took care of the things he said he would.” That's a trifle more than stopping at "taking him at his word." That indicates follow-up on the part of the Sheriff.

Further, Lawrence's article states that "Stockton said Kirby no longer drives a patrol car and doesn’t do anything other than inside-the-jail work." That keeps him from being out patrolling the roads in county vehicles should he back-slide, and thereby provides a margin of safety.

So, based on Damon Lawrence's investigation and reporting, the fired employee took steps, which were verified by the Sheriff, to correct his problems. Had he not done so, it seems he would not have been re-hired in any position. Jack Stockton showed decisiveness with proper priorities (protecting the citizens and protecting the integrity of his office) when he immediately dismissed Kirby. Until and unless he demonstrates he has abandoned those traits in his administration of the Sheriff's Office, he deserves to be trusted and upheld in his actions. And I don't mean until he is shown to be imperfect or that he can make an error. I mean until and unless he is shown to have abandoned the good traits for managing that department that we have seen since he took office. This is not an issue about Daniel Lantz, formerly of HPD. This is about the integrity of Sheriff Stockton.

I say it's a good thing to have an example of the chief law enforcement officer in the county who shows an understanding of both the need for integrity in his office and the need for understanding and dealing with human frailty. My God! This is something to be sought after, and to be praised when found in an elected official - not something to be used negatively! Yeah, the Sheriff thought this one out. And "he done good." He has a far deeper understanding than many would in his position:

The quality of mercy is not strain'd,
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath: it is twice blest;
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes:
'Tis mightiest in the mightiest: it becomes
The throned monarch better than his crown;
His sceptre shows the force of temporal power,
The attribute to awe and majesty,
Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings;
But mercy is above this sceptred sway;
It is enthroned in the hearts of kings,
It is an attribute to God himself;
And earthly power doth then show likest God's
When mercy seasons justice.
Therefore, Jew,
Though justice be thy plea, consider this,
That, in the course of justice, none of us
Should see salvation: we do pray for mercy;
And that same prayer doth teach us all to render
The deeds of mercy
.
I have spoke thus much
To mitigate the justice of thy plea;
Which if thou follow, this strict court of Venice
Must needs give sentence 'gainst the merchant there.

RB

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