Letter: Gentry for Sheriff
On Nov. 8 Gloucester County residents will have an opportunity to vote to reelect Steve Gentry as their sheriff. There are many reasons why Sheriff Gentry should receive your vote. But I would like you to focus on the following:
Exceptional Leadership: Sheriff Gentry’s quality leadership within the Sheriff’s Department is clearly evident in the following two actions:
—Department Accreditation. Sheriff Gentry being a man of integrity took a step many leaders shy away from when he voluntarily surrendered the department’s accreditation. His "it’s never too late to do the right thing" leadership style is the foundation which returned the department’s accreditation this year. Only a man of impeccable character can turn this situation into a teachable moment for his deputies and demonstrate to the citizens of Gloucester that it is about being honest, forthright and looking out for their safety without compromising.
—Tornado Relief and Recovery. Whose face was seen by the citizens of Gloucester County following the tornado in April of 2011? It wasn’t the Gloucester County Emergency Management Coordinator, the Gloucester County Administrator or members of the Board of Supervisors. It was Sheriff Steve Gentry. There are many who deserve recognition for their efforts following the tornado; CERT members, the Deputy Emergency Management Coordinator and numerous others. However, it is Sheriff Gentry who met those most affected by the devastation and provided them a compassionate response.
—Superb Managerial Abilities. Sheriff Gentry’s astute management abilities are clearly evident in a 17% crime rate drop despite personnel and budget cuts to the Sheriff’s Department. A couple of issues his opponents have targeted without investigating the facts and are dead wrong on.
—Uniform Procurement. When Sheriff Gentry took off ice, over 80% of the uniforms were not serviceable and our deputies looked unprofessional. Sheriff Gentry thoroughly understanding that was not just an appearance issue, but a department morale issue as well, he knew the cost would be very substantial to the taxpayer if purchased from his budget. So he worked to use asset forfeiture funds to pay for new uniforms, instead of our taxes. These "asset" funds are those monies and properties taken from convicted drug dealers, sex offenders, etc.
—Vehicle Acquisitions. Sheriff Gentry understands the demanding requirement deputies put on their patrol cars during the official performance of their duties. Their patrol cars required routine preventive maintenance and costly periodic repairs to keep them in operation. The older the patrol cars get the more it costs to maintain them. Sheriff Gentry understands the best way to reduce and in some cases eliminate future excessive maintenance/repair costs is through a vehicle phased replacement program.
—Outstanding Vision. Sheriff Gentry’s targeting of the quality of drug arrests instead of the quantity has been extremely successful as evidenced by the recently multiagency law enforcement effort that significantly curtailed narcotics into Gloucester County.
Sheriff Steve Gentry is the right choice for Gloucester County Sheriff.