Published 7:14 pm Tuesday, September 15, 2015
Editor, Smithfield Times
Obviously, the brother of Surry County Sheriff Candidate Michael Bailey would endorse him for sheriff. However, he referenced me, Raynard Shears, and my career, several times in his letter to the editor. Perhaps he too, seems to be at a loss for reasons to support his brother’s campaign. I can assure Candidate Bailey’s brother, my employment opportunities are based strictly on my qualifications and merit. Believing Candidate Bailey is responsible for any of my employment is a reach of brotherly validation and a failure of gathering facts. I seriously doubt you could find any officer who would credit their career achievements to Candidate Bailey.
The motorcyclist’s death involving Candidate Bailey is questionable. Certainly a death that occurs several miles across county lines in a high speed pursuit, through residential areas is worthy of review within the courts. An officer must recognize when he can be as much of a public threat as the offender. USA Today’s article “A Death a Day from Police Chases” and The Police Policy Studies Council both speak emphatically to questionable judgments involved in police pursuits.
Nationwide, law enforcement agencies have taken steps to revamp police pursuit policies to avoid officers’ questionable judgments while performing pursuits on duty. Candidate Bailey’s actions that night and the Surry County Sheriff’s Office’s Vehicle Pursuit Policy, or lack thereof, would irrefutably qualify as being questionable. I encourage Candidate Bailey’s brother to step away from the family dinner table to talk candidly with current and former coworkers, then decide if big brother is sheriff material,