Editor, There have been many comments concerning law enforcement experience being the most important factor to consider when electing a sheriff. We all know that would be beneficial but is not always necessary to effectively perform the duties of sheriff.
Unlike the deputies that are trained and experienced, a sheriff doesn’t perform the same duties, i.e., traffic stops, write reports and citations, work accidents, testify in court, just to mention a few. Deputies are hired to perform these duties and they do so under the leadership of the sheriff.
That is why we need a sheriff with strong leadership abilities, business experience, integrity and strong family values, someone the deputies can look up to, respect and, most of all, trust. I believe that man is Steve Sikes.
There is more to the sheriff’s office than law enforcement. The sheriff is also responsible for the county jail, processing civil papers and other various administrative duties which include budget preparation and execution. This is where Steve’s years of successful business experience would be invaluable to Liberty County.
Looking back to 1992, Don Martin (a candidate for sheriff with no law enforcement experience) defeated a prosecuting attorney (with a law enforcement background), and went on to be our sheriff for the next 18 years. Because of his vision we now have one of the best departments in Georgia. In the beginning, what Sheriff Martin lacked in experience he made up for with his ability to lead. I believe Steve Sikes possesses that type of leadership ability and has a positive vision for the future of Liberty County. If elected he would do like Sheriff Martin did and surround himself with qualified personnel to properly serve the citizens of Liberty County.
Also, the sheriff is the “voice” of the department and Steve possesses the qualities required to effectively bridge the gap between the sheriff’s office and the public.
The sheriff’s office already has a knowledgeable staff that would support Steve to ensure that they would continue to operate in an efficient and effective manner. Experience does matter — administrative experience and experience in leadership. Please vote Steve Sikes as our next Sheriff.
Linda S. Richardson