Interview With Candidate Lonnie Scott
LIBERTY SENTINEL: How long have you been in law enforcement?
SCOTT: I have been working for 23 years in every position. I have worked as a Patrol Officer, Patrol Supervisor, Corporal, Sergeant, Lieutenant, Special Operations Supervisor, Internal Affairs Commander, Assistant Chief.
LIBERTY SENTINEL: Why are you running for sheriff?
SCOTT: I would do a better job in motivating people. The community is in a need of someone who respects them. Right now the community is not given the respect it needs. I think the concept of public service has been lost and needs to be brought back. I want a Sheriff’s Office that works with the community. We need to work with the people and businesses in the community to solve problems. Right now we just respond to crime. Those problems need to be identified and prevented before they happen. We should be focusing on reaching kids and keeping them out of trouble to reduce crime in the future. We need to communicate with the community. My experience in law enforcement would help in reaching the community.
LIBERTY SENTINEL: What are some ways you would reach kids?
SCOTT: We need a method to reach parents and work with them. We could set up a hotline or a program so we could work with parents and help them manage their kids.
I deal with kids all the time as a father and understand what parenting is like. We could be working more with schools. Kids should be rewarded for good grades and conduct in schools. They need something to work towards. We need to reach kids when they are young. When they are 18 it’s too late. We need to reach them when they are 8 or 10 years old.
I would take money we are using for fighting drugs and use that to fund new programs to keep kids out of trouble and work for a better future.
LIBERTY SENTINEL: How would you get the police to work more with the community?
SCOTT: I would get rid of high ranking officials in the Sheriff’s Office and get them to work in the community. I would put captains in locations accessible by the community. Instead of having them all in a central office we can have them in offices closer to different areas of the community, like Newberry and Archer. Officers should also be volunteering time toward the community. They should volunteer in organizations to help the community and understand their needs better.
LIBERTY SENTINEL: What would you do to change the current system?
SCOTT: The current administration doesn’t respect citizens or employees. That’s why we have so many complaints and lawsuits against the Sheriff’s Office from its own employees. The Sheriff’s Office needs to respect the people they work with and the community. It is intimidating when personal friends are given special attention above the rest of the department. People are getting money for new programs that the county already has and are given special attention. That kills morale.
LIBERTY SENTINEL: Do you have any additional comments?
SCOTT: I would encourage the average citizen to take a long, hard look at the current Sheriff’s Office and ask why the deputies that work there are asking for a change in leadership and what’s motivating them. When you have 80% of an agency that wants change there is something wrong. Law enforcement employees aren’t being respected or valued, coworkers are being fired and special interests are being given priority.
Lonnie Scott can be found online at ElectLonnieScottForSheriff.com.
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