Our 5 Foundational Pillars
I want to share with you the foundation of how I will lead the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department. I call them “The 5 Pillars”. These things will be the foundation of all that we do. They are non-negotiable and I will demand them of myself and all employees. The Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department will be a department that works for YOU! Everything we do will be focused on serving you in the best possible manner.
Pillar #1: Accountability
The department and I will be accountable for being fiscally responsible, providing professional and efficient service to the community, and creating/maintaining safe neighborhoods throughout the county.
Individual officers, starting with and including me, will be accountable to always do the right thing, treat people fairly, do quality thorough work, and to maintain an extremely high work ethic. Integrity, character, professionalism, and quality will be hallmarks of all, with me leading by example.
The community will be accountable to take initiative in watching out for each other and being willing to assist the department with tips, information, and cooperation.
Those who break the law will be held accountable for their crimes. We want a community where everyone feels safe and can raise our families without fear. If you break the law, we will find you and bring you to face justice.
Pillar #2: Professionalism
We will be a professional department that is above reproach. Ethics, integrity, honesty, fairness, and professionalism will be displayed at all times. We will treat everyone that we encounter in the same way that we would want to be treated.
We will treat every call with the upmost of importance. It may be minor in the grand scheme of the world, but to that person it is very important and may very well be the worst moment of their life. We will be cognizant of that fact and our actions and demeanor will show it.
In addition, all of our investigations will be done thoroughly and documented professionally.
Pillar #3: Quality
What good is responding to a call or taking enforcement action if it is not going to be done well? Nothing. It would be a waste of effort, or maybe it would just be doing something with no effort at all. Quality in ALL that we do will be expected. We want to give all citizens the confidence that we are taking the situation seriously, because we are doing the best we can.
I will ensure that we will provide the appropriate training and supervision so that each officer is equipped with the skills, knowledge, and desire to do the best work possible. Our investigations will be completed with a real care for the finished product.
I strongly believe that each person, in this case each officer, should always strive for self-improvement. None of us should have the attitude that “I think I know it”. We should actually know it and be able to express why we know it.
I will expect each employee to be proud to put their name on anything that they do. There will be a review process set up that ensures only quality is found in our investigations and reports.
Pillar #4: Work Ethic
Throughout my career, I would put my work ethic up against anyone. I am a firm believer that when you are getting paid to do a job, you work your tail off to earn your paycheck and to do the best job possible. My grandpa, Audra Craig (my hero), instilled three things into me as I was growing up and in my early adult life as I spent time with him working on the farm. Those three things are:
If they pay you for 8 hours of work, you give them 8 hours of work (note, that says give them work, not just your presence).
You don’t go to work to make friends, you go to work to get a job done.
Don’t drink more than you can sweat out, because we don’t have time to take a break to use the bathroom.
That’s how I live my life and that is how I conduct my business at work. As your Sheriff, I will expect our employees to maintain a high work ethic. Now, maybe not making friends and not stopping to use the bathroom is a bit of an exaggeration, but the point is the same. The citizens of this county expect to get their money’s worth. We are being paid to be law enforcement officers. We are being paid to maintain safety and order in our communities. That is what we will give. I do not abide laziness.
Don’t get what I am saying wrong. I would not be instituting quotas or anything of the sort. However, our officers will be working. Our supervisors will be working and making sure their subordinates are working. The department will be known in the community as hard-working officers that are trying to make a positive difference.
Pillar #5: Cooperation
Let me explain my thoughts about cooperation amongst law enforcement agencies. First and foremost, we should all be on the same team. I will never understand why departments don’t want to work with other departments or why it is so easy to have toes stepped on. Throughout my years in law enforcement, I have maintained great working relationships and friendships with officers from inside multiple local agencies. In fact, I would go so far to say that when I was working night shift, I worked much closer with LCPD and BPD officers than other troopers. Yet, I see time after time (especially among department leaders) the inability to either get along or to share the “job well done”.
I can assure you that I am not seeking this position as Sheriff for any glory. My ego does not care if another agency or person gets the limelight. What I do care about is that our citizens get excellent service. I will be the first to congratulate any other department for good work.
I have an excellent relationship with officers and leaders of every police agency in this county. I will work with all of them, not only when I have to do so, but also with an ongoing working relationship. We are stronger together. The citizens of our county get better service and are safer when we all work together.