Letters to the Editor

Doesn't support Asher for San Juan County sheriff

I must also add my name to the others who do not support Jeff Asher for San Juan County sheriff. I have been with the Sheriff's Office for 34 years, and a sergeant for the past 20.

First, I agree with the letters from Undersheriff Zerby and Sgt. Brennan. I know of no support for Asher from any of the officers within this department. That alone speak volumes about this election. Yes, the dive team supports Jeff and I would expect nothing less from them. They are a hard-working dedicated group, working and training constantly together. However, no offense to them, but they are a civilian group, not full-time cops, and this is an election for the next sheriff, not the next leader of the dive team.

Jeff and a few of his supporters are spending their time telling all that will listen how bad the Sheriff's Office is because we couldn't catch Colton Harris-Moore. No one else did all across the entire U.S.! Jeff bashes us all on that fact but fails to mention he was with us for a few weeks here on Orcas Island trying to catch this kid and I don't recall that he caught him either. Others that are his friends and supporters here also tried without luck. It happens that some do get away. But I can tell you that we all tried as hard as we could, assisted by the FBI, ICE and several other agencies. If Jeff had a plan, he never bothered to share it with any of us.

Next, his plan to have retired officers come out and work as reserves is a good idea, but nothing new. We have some reserves already and they help a lot, but are NOT a replacement for a full-time officer. Also, I have to wonder who they are, where have they been and will they fit in and be able to handle the calls for service like those of us already here? Some may have styles that are not what county residents have come to expect. Also, they will cost more than the price of a uniform, all due to state requirements (about $1,000 and up).

In the end, there are four good candidates to choose from in Rob, Brent, Brad and Felix. These four know what's needed to make the department work and they also know they can build on what the current sheriff has done so far, not try to take it all apart and rebuild it to their personal agenda.

Sheriff Cumming has spent 24 years of his life making this a good department that the county can be proud of. Have I always agreed with his ideas and goals over the years. No, and I have let him know that even when he didn't ask. But we have always been able to talk with each other and exchange ideas. He has been good to work with and easy to talk with, which is also a trait we all wish to see in the next sheriff. We want and need someone who will continue to grow this department and, yes, continue to make changes and updates as we move forward. It needs to continue to be an open, accountable department run by a person who will listen, not someone who seems to be bent on bashing the department as well as many of its current officers.

Read between the lines of Jeff's letters and you will see a trend. Speak to Rob, Brent, Felix or Brad when you can and get the real stories.

Sgt. Steve Vierthaler
Orcas Island

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