What if you were suddenly elected Sheriff and you had no experience in law enforcement? What would you do when you were being interviewed about law enforcement questions? Would you fake it, or defer those questions to commanders who had been in the field and risen through the ranks? How about letting your public information officer teach classes to the public on how to prevent crime? Wouldn't you leave that to people who were qualified?
Well the above scenario has been played out right before our eyes over the last four years. Mark Luttrell won the race and promptly started fielding interviews as though he had ever made an arrest. After three years of "faking it", he rose to speak in a Compstats meeting and asked the room full of commanders "what authority do we have to make arrests in Bartlett?" When I called him on this one (on the Mike Fleming show), he lied and said he never said that. While I don't expect any of the commanders at the SCSO to lay their head on a chopping block by telling the truth about what was said, I did happen to ask a retired lieutenant, who was pointman for the Fugitive Bureau in the aforementioned meeting, if he remembered the event. Former Green Bay Packer, professional football player and retired SCSO Lt., Francis "Bubba" Winkler, was that man. He said he was there and he thought it was the "dumbest" thing he had ever heard. I recorded our interview and it is available for your listening pleasure here