Fiora for Carroll County sheriff [Letter]

Voters in the Republican primary for Carroll County sheriff have a choice this year and the clear choice for this important office is Chris Fiora.

Mr. Fiora has more than 30 years of law enforcement experience at the local, state and national levels — as a patrol officer, Maryland state parole and probation agent, senior inspector for the U.S. Marshals Service and supervisory special agent with the Department of Homeland Security. This is the experience he will draw on to make the sheriff's department a model law enforcement agency.

The need for an experienced sheriff should be clear to Carroll County residents. FBI statistics show an 11 percent increase in crime in 2012, the latest data available. The mishandling of a major murder case by the sheriff's office has left a family without justice and murderers free to commit more crimes. While the county commissioners have made the Sheriff's Office the primary law enforcement agency in Carroll County, the state's attorney has assigned the investigation of murder cases to the Maryland State Police.

Throughout this campaign Mr. Fiora has outlined a plan to review of current policies and practices in the sheriff's office, and to implement a community-based policing strategy. His commitment to meet with county residents at local schools, community centers and fire halls is a welcome change from current policy.

Mr. Fiora's plan to utilize rapid response teams is a proactive solution to the growing rash of property crimes in the county. He believes that the time of sheriff's deputies is better spent identifying and arresting the small number of repeat offenders who commit the majority of crimes in the county than hassling law-abiding citizens for minor traffic violations. Providing the proper training and equipment for the dozens of new and inexperienced deputies hired in the past three years is a priority of Mr. Fiora and an absolute necessity in developing a truly professional local police department.

Changes are needed in the Carroll County Sheriff's Office, and the best way to ensure those changes occur is to elect a man with the experience and vision to bring them about. That person is Chris Fiora.

Joseph R. Staub Jr., Westminster

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