To the Editor:
Richard Gray is a calm, level-headed, experienced law enforcement officer who will serve Grant County well as sheriff, in contrast with Sheriff Palmer, who just can’t get along with anyone.
When Sheriff Palmer had his famous and very public dispute with Judge Webb over the emergency director position, I thought it was a little creepy that the whole Sheriff’s Posse showed up in court, in uniform and armed.
Sheriff Palmer has spoken often on our economic distress in Grant County – and then he canceled the community policing agreement with the Forest Service, which meant no more good-paying summer jobs for Search and Rescue members, formerly the Sheriff’s Posse. SAR members devote countless unpaid hours and a lot of their own money to serve the citizens of Grant County. What a way to say “thank you.”
Surely a law officer understands the rules of evidence, and that policies and decisions must be data-based. Sheriff Palmer’s reasons for being in a chronic fight with the Forest Service are vague and unsupported, like his claims that several Grant County citizens were stopped at gunpoint by Forest Service employees. As Richard Gray pointed out, there should be documentation of excessive force complaints, and where are the formal investigations of these complaints?
After all, Sheriff Palmer says he wants to protect us, so surely he has vigorously investigated these alleged abuses, and taken steps to hold the Forest Service employees accountable. Now we have a new very public dispute with the John Day Police Department over access in the sheriff’s office, and again there is no formal complaint or sincere effort to resolve the dispute – Sheriff Palmer took it straight to the Blue Mountain Eagle.
We still don’t know who poisoned Dr. Bachtold’s well. I’ve had my own negative encounter with the Sheriff’s department, where they flat-out refused to investigate a serious complaint.
Our deputies are first-rate – we need a new Sheriff who will do the job he was elected to do. I want a sheriff who can work effectively with others, and who does his job. I’m voting for Richard Gray.