Thursday, March 6, 2008

The Sheriff's Race is On...

Karen Zolka

In Athens County primary elections Tuesday, March 4, voters selected Pat Kelly as the Democratic nominee, and Stephen Kane was unopposed for the Republican nomination. Incumbent Democrat, Sheriff Vern Castle was unseated.

Changes at the Sheriff's Department
Athens MidDay talked with Stephen Kane and Pat Kelly about what they would do in the sheriff's department, if elected.

Stephen Kane
-Create a citizen police academy that would train residents to help with tasks around the community. The position would be similar to that of a volunteer firefighter.

Republican Stephen Kane talks about the police academy

-Create a strategic response team responsible for alerting the public and school districts in the case of an emergency.

Pat Kelly
-Establish an effective, countywide crime prevention program.

-Provide more transparency in the sheriff's budget.

Restructuring Sheriff's Department
Kane and Kelly have similar plans to rework the way deputies are scheduled.

Stephen Kane
-Restructure the number of officers on the day and night shifts, according to community needs.

Pat Kelly
-Rework schedules so that more deputies are on patrol during peak crime hours.

Both Stephen Kane and Pat Kelly agree that they were chosen in the primaries because Athens is ready for change. Pat Kelly says that it is evident the "sheriff's office is not responding to the needs of the people."

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