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Sheriff Candidate: Cross-Training Officers Could See Overtime Savings

Bob Armstrong says debate on these and other issues needed

Letter as submitted by Bob Armstrong, Democratic Candidate for Ocean County Sheriff:

Supporters of my opponent for sheriff claim my proposal to cross-train sheriff’s and corrections officers isn’t realistic. Those claims simply reveal a lack of vision on the part of the sheriff and Ocean County’s entrenched leadership.

Right now county officers cannot fill in for each other when the need arises. As a result, the county paid sheriff and corrections officers $4 million for overtime in 2011. That expense could have been greatly reduced if qualified officers had been interchangeable.

With training at the Ocean County Police Academy in Lakewood (which some county authorities would like to close), those officers could provide mutual backup and more. Corrections officers, for example, could attain the status of sworn law enforcement officers, expanding Ocean County’s crime fighting and emergency response capability, especially under a re-energized sheriff’s department.

Would it be easy?

Of course not.

Cross training would require a change in the culture of both groups, not to mention approval of the Police Training Commission in the New Jersey Department of Criminal Justice. Rules such as age limits might still apply. Since cross training would be voluntary, we would have to provide incentives to those officers who elect to take part. But reduced overtime would more than pay for those incentives, and the greater public benefit would be a more versatile and nimble security resource for Ocean County.

It would be easier to accomplish if corrections were returned to the Department of the Sheriff where it belongs, of course, but a program could still succeed within the current administrative structure. 

I would very much like the opportunity to debate this publicly with Mr. Polhemus, but he is nowhere to be seen or heard on this or any other issues.

Bob Armstrong
Candidate for Ocean County Sheriff

DOCTOR ANDY September 14, 2012 at 03:33 PM
dont vote for mcmenimen for sheriff he is a criminal by his illegal dissability claims the state pays ..did u know he owns and operates and works out at his own gym?...how disabled is that? he also sued stafford twp over sour grapes of not getting the cheifs position. he was booted out of office as staffords mayor. all he was on was a mission to get back at his old fellow cops.
Thomas September 14, 2012 at 03:41 PM
How is Polhemus still sheriff?? He is the only puppet that the Republicans could find to agree to put his name on the ballot? This is an absentee sheriff that is unable to perform his duties yet he keeps getting elected. Until the voters say enough is enough and elect people that can do the job things will never change. Just let him retire and go away quietly and let someone else take over who has the knowledge and capabilities to move the sheriffs dept forward and be relevant again. I'm not saying Armstrong is the answer but it is a step in the right direction. Polhemus's handlers should have him step aside and let him leave with dignity as a man that served this county for so many years and not tarnish his legacy by being reclusive.
Mac September 15, 2012 at 03:48 AM
Leave with dignity. Now that's funny. Gilmore’s even laughing. Republicans in Ocean County overwhelmingly run as incumbents (previously elected or not.) Sheriff Bill will complete his mission by winning this election and then stepping aside so no-experience Jack Kelly can fill the position. Kelly isn't a sure bet at the polls, so Gilmore will be employing his trademark backdoor operating procedure of electing his own choices. And it works majestically, time and time again. The idea of a Sheriff Armstrong has to worry Gilmore no matter how unlikely it is to happen. Such a situation could easily lead to a couple of hundred more Ritacco's without much effort. So be confident that a vote for Sheriff Bill will elect Jack Kelly as the next Sheriff of Ocean County. So Jack, aside from your deli store experience, your numerous years of slap-on-the-back Freeholder love fests, and Gilmore appointing you as an airport manager after walking in on you flying paper airplanes around your Freeholder office, what do you have to offer as experience and ability to run our county law enforcement department? Oh yeah, sorry, I forgot. The backdoor. It’s so easy in Ocean County. I’ll even bet Gov. Christie comes here to tout Sheriff Bill, so I’ll make good old boy Bill an offer. Sheriff Bill, if you can lasso our Governor from ten yards, I’ll vote for you for old-time’s sake. And I won’t even demand you do it on horseback (which I believe was your first sheriff’s car.)
Frank Schwartz September 16, 2012 at 07:35 AM
Armstrong is well qualified to be sheriff and should be elected but we all know that Polhemus will win because the Republicans always win in Ocean County. The "good ol' boys GOP club" is STILL very much alive and well in this county that just refuses to see that the Republicans laugh at the electorate every election because they know that no matter how corrupt, inexperienced or unqualified for office a candidate is, the voters will just continue to elect them to because they are running on the Republican line! Wake up Ocean County!! One party rule ended with the Soviet Union but some how it has survived here in Ocean County to our great detriment!!

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