Editor, Times-Union:

I am writing in support of our sheriff, Kyle Dukes.

Kyle stepped into an environment in which he had to deal with the carnage left from a sheriff’s office in which the formerly elected sheriff had been convicted of a felony and the outgoing appointed sheriff signed contracts that were not in the best interest of the county. The sheriff’s office did not have the trust of most of the other law enforcement agencies in the county. The jail was filthy and overcrowded. Work release was losing an incredible amount of money and there seemed to be a revolving door on the jail for many people who found themselves caught in the horrors of addiction.

Sheriff Dukes ran on a simple idea – our county needs a fresh start.

He decided right up front that because of the situation with the last elected sheriff, he was going to do everything by state statute.

Several deputies quit when Sheriff Dukes took office. Apparently, they liked the way things were – they were not willing to change. Those changes are what seem to rub Sheriff Duke’s opponent the wrong way. In fact, so much, it seems that what he thinks Sheriff Dukes is doing wrong is the bulk of his platform. Although I would like to discuss several different things, space only allows me to discuss one “issue” that Smith seems to keep going to.

Sheriff Dukes hired his brother-in-law as chief deputy. I want my sheriff to put the best persons possible in places of leadership. I think we all can agree with that. Now, I am not an “insider” in the sheriff’s office, but I know that when the sheriff’s brother-in-law was a detective, he closed as many cases as the other detectives in the office. Combined. That’s right, there were several other detectives in the detective office, and Shane closed at least as many cases as the rest of them combined. Let that sink in. Why is deputy Smith complaining when Sheriff Dukes hired the best person for the job? If that is a bad thing, what kind of people is deputy Smith going to put into leadership positions if he is elected?

I could keep going, but I think you get the idea. Deputy Smith has practiced much more “politics” in the last six months than Sheriff Dukes has in the last four years. I see nothing new that deputy Smith is bringing to the table that he can actually accomplish that Sheriff Dukes isn’t already doing, or his team isn’t accomplishing very well.

As a taxpayer, and as a resident in this county since 1971, I applaud the changes that Sheriff Dukes and his staff have made in the last three years. I want to see us continue to move forward with the new paradigm concerning Work Release and JCAP that have become so successful under Sheriff Dukes’ leadership, rather than backward as the true “good ole boy” would take us.

Tim Stiffler

Syracuse, via email