I am writing this letter to voice my opinion on the Sheriff’s race. I have served over 25 years in law enforcement and over 26 years in the military. I have worked as a patrol officer and am currently one of your patrol sergeants. I have held the rank of private to lieutenant colonel and served in a leadership role during two tours in Iraq.
The one consistency I have seen during my public service is that leaders are frequently asked to do more with less and that organization members blame the leadership for the resulting strain. What is an executive to do? He can either tell his bosses no or ask his subordinates to step up and continue to do more with less. In this case, the bosses are all of you, the voters.
The quick fix would be to add personnel. Sheriff Nou asked for more personnel and was rejected due to budget constraints. The personnel retention challenges for Orcas and Lopez Island have remained unchanged for the past 12 years due to reasons that are not in the Sheriff’s control.
A general once told me that a leader is never more dangerous than when he first starts out as a new leader in a new assignment. Not because he wants to be but mainly because he doesn’t know what he doesn’t know. Although I like both candidates, my experience has taught me that executive positions are best occupied after progressive opportunities for development. I have seen the detrimental impacts to organizations where unprepared leaders were hoisted into executive roles. It was not fair to the organization nor the person thrust into the position. Seven years of patrol experience with no management experience in a law enforcement organization creates the potential for more challenges, not fewer, in my opinion. I choose to support Sheriff Nou because he is an honest proven leader in the role of Sheriff. Sheriff Nou has made tremendous improvements to our organization and I am confident that he will continue to thoughtfully and calmly serve all of us.
Sergeant Scott Taylor