By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Sheriff candidate wants more community involvement
Richard White - photo by Courier file photo
Midway resident Richard White thinks the Liberty County Sheriff's Office isn't involved in the community (other than road patrols) and local programs meant to keep young people out of trouble overlook a key group.
But rather than simply complaining about these issues, the 44-year-old Republican, who heads a 4-year-old volunteer security patrol, recently decided to get involved in making over the department from top to bottom, literally.
White qualified last week to run in this year's county sheriff's race and said he plans to bring about "fast, friendly and more effective" change to the office incumbent Sheriff Don Martin has controlled for 16 years.
Noting what he considers limited community involvement by the LCSO, White said one of the first things he would do as sheriff is make the department more engaged in community events and protecting businesses in the county.
"Our sheriff's department now is more focused on road patrols. Even though that is an important aspect of this department, we need to be more focused or as focused on our community businesses and I'm not referring to just having a deputy ride by," he said. "And I'm also talking about being very active with community events throughout the year."
White also wants to focus on the county's youth by starting a junior law enforcement academy for elementary students and a law enforcement Explorers program for those in the seventh grade through 21 years of age.
And for young people who may find themselves on the wrong side of the law, he plans to start a first offenders program.
"I've designed some programs for the first offender juvenile that will require educational programs to help them learn what committing crimes will do to them in the future and try to get them to avoid those kinds of activities," White said. "Everything that we have right now seems to be focused on the habitual offender. These programs I have designed are to keep them becoming habitual violators."
He is also calling for stricter enforcement of sex offender laws.
"Some (child molesters) are in areas they probably shouldn't be living in and it doesn't seem to be much being done to enforce those types of laws," White said. "That is one thing that I will stay focused on. That is part of the protection of our children."
His first foray into politics, White said he does not think any of his initiatives are too lofty to become a reality and creating a greater sense of community is at the heart of each program.
"We need to be active as a whole county, instead of just this little group and that little group," he said. "We need to work towards the betterment of Liberty County together."
White added with a field of six sheriff candidates - four Democrats, two Republicans - heading into the July 15 primary, voters have a variety of choices unseen in years. He said it's an opportunity for residents to think about and decide who will be best for the county's future.
"I ask that each of them take their time and consideration of who they feel is going to be the best candidate and what is for the betterment of this county as a whole," White said. "My focus is to be 100 percent dedicated to be there when needed...and that my programs will be effective and beneficiary for everyone."
Sign up for our e-newsletters