Editor, Times-Union:

One of the most important duties of a county sheriff is to maintain order in the county jail. When some inmates feel emboldened enough to commit new crimes while they are in custody, it is a danger both to the jail staff and to the inmates who are behaving as they should, and it is a burden on all of us. Who pays to repair the damages to the jail when inmates wreak havoc? WE DO, the taxpayers.

Over the past three years, we’ve seen a slew of crime, disobedience and damage within the Kosciusko County Jail. Inmates are getting drugs, selling drugs, running their own behind-bars tattoo shops and damaging county property. The cost in repairs to us, the taxpayers, since to current sheriff took office is already estimated to be over $150,000! That’s a huge increase over previous years. It has gotten out of control.

It’s time to try something new. I am supporting Jim Smith for sheriff in the Republican primary. Jim’s years in the service taught him about discipline and how to execute a plan. He’ll have a hands-on approach to running the jail, and he has a plan that includes a drug-detection canine, properly training new employees on how to use a full-body scanner, and holding rogue inmates accountable for their behavior. I believe that Jim is the man to get the situation under control.

Vote Smith on May 3.

Dan Ransbottom

Claypool