In their words: Candidates for sheriff | Brad Fincher
August 3, 2010 · 3:28 PM
The Journal invited the five candidates for sheriff to tell you, in 400 words or less, what you need to know about what they will do as our top cop. Here are their guest columns.
Brad Fincher: ‘I can manage our resources to their fullest'
The question I am asked the most is “Why do you want to be sheriff?”
I love this community. My wife Debbi and I are raising our two sons here. I am personally invested in keeping San Juan County safe. This is my chance to serve our community in the highest capacity possible.
The other question is “Are you qualified to be sheriff?” I have over 10 years of criminal justice experience here in this county and almost 20 years of management experience. The sheriff’s job is almost exclusively administrative. I have the management experience to lead this county into the future.
I have successfully managed over 1,000 people in the past decade. I have worked closely with most of the personnel in the Sheriff’s Office over the past few years. I respect the job they do to keep the county safe.
As the county probation officer it is my job to manage offenders. Sometimes they can be resistant and are unhappy about their situation. My management style is to work with the individual as a person, listening to their issues, trying to find a mutual respect and setting clear goals and consequences. I was awarded the state’s Probation Officer of the Year in 2008.
As sheriff, I will secure the necessary and ongoing training for the men and women of the department to ensure they can skillfully execute their duties. You want a sheriff that will manage these resources to their fullest. I can do that. In addition, my personality is well suited to bringing people together in difficult situations.
This is a unique community, and we need creativity as well as commitment to make the department work in the current economic climate. When Sheriff Bill Cumming hired me in 1999 to develop and manage the Work Crew Program as the coordinator, I was able through this innovative program to successfully save the county nearly $1 million in jail costs while providing a huge benefit in community service to all of the islands.
My No. 1 priority is the safety and security of every citizen of San Juan County. I also come with an acute awareness of the abuse of alcohol and drugs in these islands and am prepared to address this issue by working with the community to cut off illegal access, and by supporting prevention, intervention, and education programs.