Those Who Don’t Know History are Doomed to Repeat it: Sheriff’s Race 2010 Revisited:


This debate between Griffith and Schatzman occurred in 2010.
For more recent articles on Dave Griffith go here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

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April 26, 2010
 I attended a GOP candidate debate on Monday, April 26, 2010 at the
Golden Corral in Winston-Salem. Both the incumbent sheriff and his
opponent Dave Griffith were present. The May 4th primary in Forsyth
County will determine which of these two men will be on the GOP ballot
for the November election.

The
banquet room was filled to capacity, with the GOP Chairman, Nathan
Tabor presiding over the debate. Both candidates were given the
opportunity to speak specifically about their plans for the Forsyth
County Sheriff’s Department. Both candidates were presented questions by
the audience.

It was a lively, spirited group that
did not hesitate to call a bluff, ask a hard question, or hold the
candidate’s feet to the fire. This is what I saw and heard from each
candidate.

On gang crime: At this meeting, the
incumbent said that local gangs were not a problem in that they only
committed 1% of Forsyth County crime. He said you could look this up on
the Internet. (You can also look up a WXII interview aired 3-3-10 where
the incumbent stated “His main issue is drugs and gangs.”)

On crime:
The current sheriff stated that Forsyth County crime has been reduced
by 30% during his incumbency. He has been in office since 2004.

On illegal immigration:
The incumbent said that he did NOT support Arizona’s attempt to protect
their citizens with their new and powerful Immigration Law. Felt that
the Arizona law “illegally profiled” Hispanics/Latinos.

On certification:
The incumbent felt it was more important to “become a certified
department” (an expensive process that has no effect on crime control)
rather than participate in the federal 287G program which gives
enforcement strength to immigration laws already on the books. He
claimed that only four North Carolina counties participated in the 287G
program.

On sex offenders: The incumbent stated that only 3% are unaccounted for and they are not a problem.

On Employee turnover: Turnover is not a problem.

Several specific questions were directed to the incumbant concerning his current department.
1.
One observer asked specifically about the Chief Deputy Brad Stanley
having not only hired but also promoted his boyfriend within the
sheriff’s department. The questioner specifically asked if this type of
“cronyism” was common in the department and was the boyfriend
“qualified” to be in his position.
2. One observer challenged the incumbant to his misrepresentation of the Arizona immigration law.
3.
One observer challenged the incumbants assertion that only four
counties in NC were 287g certified and offered state documents to prove
her point.
4. One observer challenged the incumbants statements
on crime in Forsyth County and offerred documents from the sheriff’s
department website as proof.

From GOP challenger, Dave Griffith

On gang crime:
Quoting the Sheriff’s Department Annual Crime Report 2008, Dave stated
that Forsyth County school violence is up 28.15%. He pledged to work
hand in hand with the school board and administration to “fully
investigate and reduce these incidences”.

On crime:
Dave Griffith outlined plans for a drug interdiction team similar to
that in Iredell country. Iredell’s interdiction team earned its citizens
2 million dollars in sheriff department funding that the tax payers did
not have to finance.

On crime: After quoting
the Sheriff Departments Annual Crime Report 2008 documenting an increase
in total crime by 8.15% in Forsyth County, Dave Griffith vowed to
reduce this figure and better serve the citizens of this county.

On illegal immigration:
Just like more than 20 counties in North Carolina have done, Dave
Griffith pledged to participate in the Federal 287G program. He pledged
to use every law at his discretion to reduce the illegal immigration
problem in Forsyth County.

On certification:
Unlike the incumbent, Dave Griffith said he would NOT put Forsyth County
to the expense of certification of the Sheriff’s department. In this
current climate of budget constraints, he intends to use available
financial resources to improve crime control, increase revenues from
drug/crime seizures, and streamline the effectiveness/accountability of
the Sheriff’s department.

On sex offenders:
Quoting a WXII report on 3-10-10, the crowd learned that 40% of Forsyth
County sex offenders are unaccounted for. Dave Griffith has plans to
assign more than the current one car/one deputy tracking these
offenders. He is adamant about increasing departmental accountability
and locating these “missing” offenders. He will keep them accounted for
with the improvements in manpower and departmental changes in policy and
tracking.

On employee turnover: According to
the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office HR director, turnover in the
sheriff’s office since 2006 is 57%. The incumbent told WXII on 2-15-10
that “each new deputy costs the county tax payers $100,000 the first
year when factoring in costs such as salary, benefits, and equipment”.
Dave Griffith promised to work tirelessly to retain our great staff in
Forsyth County. The cost is too great…at $100,000 per hire…the
savings are obvious”.

The debate ran for over an hour,
with many in the audience hungry for more time to ask questions. Both
candidates hung aroung to meet and greet.

For those of
you who missed this debate, it was quite the showdown. Just like the
Old West gun-slingers fought to the death at the O.K. Corral, these two
candidates stirred up a cloud of dust that would have made Clint
Eastwood proud. America was alive and well in that room. It was good to
see.

Please do not wait until November to vote. If you
do not vote in the May primary, you will lose your only opportunity to
pick the candidate most qualified, most trustworthy, most principled for
the job. Take a friend to the polls.

If you have any questions on this race, feel free to ask me through the comment section.


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