Editor, Times-Union:

I have lived in this community for many years and have known many sheriffs. Several things come to mind when I think of a good sheriff: Someone who cares more about doing the job well than he does about finding votes; someone who is more concerned about service than about his salary; someone who speaks up when necessary, but does not promote himself; someone who is tough as nails, but not afraid to show compassion; someone who has deep roots in the community and knows the people; someone who knows and patrols the county roads and small towns just as well as the streets of Warsaw; and someone who lives and breathes Kosciusko County every day.

I see all of these qualities in Jim Smith. I support Jim Smith for sheriff because I believe Jim has the personality and the experience to unite the Sheriff's Department and make it work more efficiently. Jim is a lifelong resident of Kosciusko County and has always been involved in the community. He has been in law enforcement for many years and served in the military. Jim is a war veteran, but you will never hear him brag about it. He has a humble, down-to-earth demeanor and a common-sense approach to solving problems.

Although some think it is necessary to vote for an incumbent, I disagree. If the challenger is better at tackling the problems faced by our community and the Sheriff's Department, then we should vote for the challenger. Jim Smith is that challenger. Some of these problems include the recruitment of officers and jail management. Officers are getting recruited out of state because local candidates are not interested in applying. Damages in the jail are on the rise and are imposing a burden on the taxpayers. Inmates are overdosing in secured cell blocks. There was a time when a drug-addicted loved one getting arrested was a relief to family members because they knew at least their loved one was safe from drugs. Now families worry that their loved one will be the next in-jail overdose.

Responding to problems by claiming these things are happening nationwide so there is nothing we can do is not the answer. Thankfully, Jim Smith does not have that attitude. He will not hide from serious problems but will tackle them head-on. His service in Iraq and Kuwait is evidence of his experience and ability to deal with high-stress and life-or-death situations. His experience, common sense attitude and dedication to service over politics are why I urge all of my fellow Republicans to vote for Jim Smith on May 3.

Al Disbro

Winona Lake