Editor, Times-Union:

Driving around our county you may have noticed the abundant show of support for sheriff candidate Jim Smith, as evidenced by the overwhelming display of posters and yard signs all over our great community. I’ve taken the time to write this letter to those of you who may not know the Jim Smith that I, and countless others, are fortunate to know. Jim and I were classmates throughout middle (Lakeview) and high school (WCHS) and what I can tell you from that time was that he was a friend to all. Ask any classmate about Jim and the response would be similar; he was always friendly, kind and truly just an all-around nice guy.  

Both of us, now adults, raised and still residing in Kosciusko County, our paths rarely crossed, except on occasion in professional circumstances (I was an ER nurse and he a sheriff’s deputy likely bringing in a patient). A friend of mine had a young daughter whose dream was to become a cop, and for her upcoming 8th birthday, had wanted to ride in a patrol car. As an ER nurse that interacts with officers occasionally, I wanted to see if I could help. When thinking of which officer to ask, Jim Smith was the first that came to mind. As a proud Kosciusko County sheriff’s deputy, he happily and immediately rose to the task. When I asked Jim, not only was he up for the job, he went far above and completely beyond the call of duty. This man planned, not only a quick ride in a police car as requested, but he also took her on a grand tour of the sheriff’s department, gave her a hat, shirt, badge, other gifts, and even had special ordered a cake for her; all of which was presented to her at a birthday party at the sheriff’s department! Jim and the other officers took pictures with her and made her feel like a deputy for the day! Perhaps the most endearing part of it all was Jim’s excitement of this upcoming surprise; sending me updates along the way! It was a special birthday, one that little girl will never forget, all because of one man’s heart of gold.  

This is just one of the many “Jim stories” as I’ve heard so many others over the course of his run for sheriff. He volunteers his time and lives to serve others. His love for our community is immense. Jim possesses all the virtues that one would expect of a sheriff. This is a man with integrity, kindness and profound generosity.

I am proud to cast my vote electing him as the next sheriff of Kosciusko County and hope you all will do the same.

Dana Oberg

Warsaw, via email