I will be voting for Jody Rowland for sheriff of Aiken County on March 25. There are many reasons I have made this decision, but several seem to stand out. With a bachelor's and master's degrees in criminal justice, and being a graduate of the Federal Bureau of Investigation National Academy, Mr. Rowland has received the best formal education. Add to that many classes, seminars and conferences relating to various aspects of police work in his 22 years of experience, and his education is well-rounded.
Helping shape the Aiken County Sheriff's Office into a professional department that is accredited is a huge accomplishment. Mr. Rowland has been involved in day-to-day operations in which he supervises 140-plus employees. He helped develop a $6 million budget. He has learned to write grants that helped our county receive monies when county dollars were not available.
A very important reason to make Mr. Rowland our choice for sheriff is homeland security. He has seen local and state plans develop to be prepared in a crisis. Whether we like it or not, homeland security is here to stay for the foreseeable future, and Mr. Rowland benefited from former Sheriff Howard Sellers being chosen to work on a national level.
The job of Aiken County sheriff is not well suited to on-the-job training. The tasks of our sheriff include crime scene investigations, preparing cases for trial, presenting cases at trial, preparing the budget, maintaining good working relationships with other agencies throughout the Central Savannah River Area, maintaining communications with victims, responding to media requests, supervising employees, securing grants and advocating budgets to the county council.
On Tuesday, consider carefully the education and experience of the candidates. Vote for the best-qualified candidate. Vote for Jody Rowland.
June H. Cannon, Aiken, S.C.
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