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Melvin: There should be no partisanship when voting for a Pinal County sheriff


Whether Republican, Independent or Democrat — R.I.D. — there should be no partisanship in public safety. Our law-enforcement professionals need our support by ensuring they receive the resources and training necessary to safely perform their difficult jobs.

As a 38-year police veteran and three-agency police chief with experience in municipal, county and even service in Sovereign Tribal nations, I have always treated all residents with dignity, respect, decency and privacy when appropriate. And, as a law-enforcement leader and professional, I have always encouraged and instructed my law-enforcement colleagues to do the same.

I understand our current political system requires voters to “pick a side,” which sometimes eliminates the most qualified and experienced person due to mere numbers.

In our current environment, can we really afford not to select the best person for the job? Pinal County, you will have the opportunity to select the right person — specifically, our sheriff — in a few months. I want to be your sheriff and I am asking for your vote. I’m also asking that you get “R.I.D.” of partisanship pertaining to public safety and consider voting for the most qualified, competent and experienced professional in this race. And folks, I’m pretty convinced I’m that candidate.

Partisanship in law enforcement sometimes excludes the “best” person for the job. As your sheriff, I vow to lead with a proactive policing philosophy, implementing best practice strategies proven to reduce crime. Being “proactive-driven” will encourage problem solving “before” crime occurs in our county. Community engagement and relationship building in calm times allows for smoother communications and navigation through chaotic emergencies. Collaborative relationship building with community stakeholders and partners is the key to a successful and trustworthy professional law enforcement agency.

My command staff will encompass a diverse cross-section of professionals who have the desire and courage to engage partnerships with community members. Those relationships will help us implement appropriate crime-fighting strategies for Pinal County communities. Now, when I speak of diversity, I’m not referring to diversity in the regular sense of the definition. The times of the “newly elected Sheriff” replacing all key positions upon arrival are over. The residents of Pinal County deserve hard working crime fighters and problem solvers.

Crime fighters and problem solvers come in all different political affiliations, all religious backgrounds, all races, and of course all ethnic origins. That’s the kind of diversity I’m accustomed to and will employ as your sheriff. I also believe that arriving and assessing the agency, and proper deployment of personnel is necessary for the betterment of the sheriff’s office and for the betterment of our Pinal County community. Basically, organizing and structuring to run smoothly.

I first pinned stars on my collar as a police commander with the Phoenix Police Department in 2004. My executive police experience encompasses five different professional police agencies including municipal, tribal, county, rural and “big city.” With 38 years of professional law-enforcement experience, I have been credited with building a nationally accredited police department from the ground up. Building successful and professional law enforcement teams and building and reforming agencies is definitely my specialty.

Does the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office need reforming or restructuring? You be the judge of that and let me know. I am here to serve and protect. From my personal experience however, I know that law-enforcement accreditation improves the professionalism of an agency whose mission is to protect and serve and ensure the safety and security of its community residents.

Having personally run three different police departments as the chief of police and worked at the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office as a deputy chief, I will have a “zero learning curve.” My goal is to inspire the women and men of the PCSO to be the beacon of professional law enforcement in our region, the state of Arizona and the country.

Continual training and succession planning will be a regular part of my leadership and management philosophy. As a Boy Scout, I was always taught to leave the area better than when I arrived. I vow to do the same as your sheriff.

In closing, in all my years of protecting and serving, both as a military police veteran and as a police professional, none of my police badges have ever had the name of a political party. Let’s “R.I.D.” politics out of public safety. I’m Patrick Melvin and I want to be your sheriff, thank you.

Go to ChiefMelvinforSheriff.com, MelvinforSheriff.com or on “Patrick Melvin” on Facebook.