Hmmm, as I recall our current Sheriff ran for office on a promise of employing functional consolidation. When he took office, there were already a batch of "metro" operations in place. Since that time things appear to have gone south. There was even talk of a "Metro Narcotics" unit being formed right after his initial win, and there was a lot of time and money spent on trying to make it happen. The end result was nothing. There was even talk of a Metro Fugitive operation, it too never happened. The MPD refused to throw-in with Mark.
Then there was the metro-gang unit. The MPD pulled out of that last year and put their officers on the street. Mark took his ten men and formed his own "unit". I'm told he has pared that large number down to six, so instead of calling it the gang unit, I think it would be much more appropriate to call it "our gang". You know like the "Little Rascals". Wonder who is playing Alfalfa? Welcome to the gang club.
The latest revelation is the breakup of the Metro DUI unit. MPD Director Godwin pulled the plug on that operation just yesterday. I guess he agrees with me that running beer stings is not the highest and best use of available manpower. But, then again, Godwin has actually made arrests. He understands crime fighting and since his trip to New York, he has had an epiphany. If anyone cares to do the research, they will see that I have been preaching the answer for the past two years - non stop, ZERO tolerance coupled with innovation. This was my plan from the outset and based on what I had seen from working in the streets and developing systems that are highly effective.
Note to Mark - Mark you cut the resources of the SCSO down to dangerous levels so you could look good to the taxpayers, and now "the chickens have come home to roost." Go back to the county commission and ask for money to hire more deputies, then consolidate your narcotics street club (less than 10), your "our gang club" (6 officers) and the Fugitive squad (less than 40). Ask for an additional 100 officers and forget about Glammer Slammer II. I know you just floated that out there to scare people into supporting your real agenda, which is to get CCA to take over the jail and corrections center. Next, stop answering law enforcement questions like you had risen through the ranks. Let Chief Oldham answer those, he's been there, done that. You can field the jail questions.
On another note, and while I'm still being instructive to the high shurf, I see you cleaned up your campaign finance operation to the point that the only convict I recognized was Bobby Lanier, and he's on everybody's list. I know you were saddened to see your long time friend and campaign contributor (Joe Cooper) get arrested recently. But, I guess you can look back on that picture you had taken with him at the car lot with fond memories. Now, don't get too down about this next revelation but, I'm also hearing some more of your friends/contributors are going to be staying at the Crossbar Hotel - and soon. (Oh well, easy come, easy go.) Back to the donations - I didn't even see the wives of convicts or underworld types names on this list. The only thing you've got left to fix is taking money from people who do business with the county, you know like people who run body shops and wrecker services and other such things. Of course, I also noted that you didn't take in nearly as much money this time either!
Now, back to my review of all things criminal in Shelby County. Under the current Sheriff, the county has experienced a blossoming crime problem. Violent crime in Memphis only grew by less than 3% in the first half of this year, yet in the county it grew by 17%. Why is that? Could it be because of failed policies? Isn't that what was said about Memphis and the reason it had gotten so bad? I believe it is. This is why it is dangerous to have a Sheriff who has never done the law enforcement side of the business. If he were merely the titular head, and he delegated the crime fighting to people who had a plan of attack, things might be different. But, the reality is that he is the Sheriff and he appears to think that because he won the race, he's a lawman. I say the facts don't support that assertion. He's now into his fifth year and things are not looking better, they are looking worse. Not only is crime getting worse in the county, the police chiefs in the other municipalities are shunning him. I believe it is because he "knows not" what he does.
Now, I know this posting will rankle many people. You'll say, we had no alternative but to vote for him. Well, that may be true. As a write-in candidate, I knew I had no chance, and the other alternative wasn't acceptable. So, I'm merely pointing out that this guy isn't getting it done. If you find anything I've said to be untrue, please let me know and I'll make the corrections and apologize. On the other hand, if you review the facts, I believe you have to agree. Sheriff Luttrell is failing the taxpayers of Shelby County.
In the immortal words of Ronald Reagan, "are you better off today, than you were four years ago?" In terms of crime, I would say not.