Shocked by comment

Published 7:49 pm Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Editor, Smithfield Times

I attended the candidates’ forum at The Smithfield Center on Monday, Sept. 28. I was shocked at an answer given by Russell Stephenson, candidate for sheriff. Mr. Stephenson has campaigned that he would add six additional School Resource Officers to the schools. Sheriff Marshall had already stated that it would cost approximately $100,000 per deputy for salaries, equipment, etc. That is $600,000.

Mr. Stephenson stated that he intended to place six deputies in schools plus add additional deputies to the road, all within the current budget.

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What I found so shocking was that Stephenson stated, when asked how he would pay for it, “It’s a secret and I don’t want to tell how I’m going to do it before the election.”

It’s a secret? Mr. Stephenson continues to preach that he will bring integrity and transparency to the sheriff’s office. He hasn’t even gotten in the office yet and has secrets. No, Mr. Stephenson is not the leader we need.

Sheriff Marshall has already brought integrity and transparency to the sheriff’s office. Sheriff Marshall is a true leader who has not turned just one law enforcement agency around, but two. Vote experience, integrity and an already proven track record of leadership, professionalism and commitment to our community. Vote with me on Nov. 3 and let’s keep our sheriff, Mark Marshall, in office.

Norma Garner