I've been in law-enforcement for 12 years, all with the Sheriff's Office. While I currently serve as the detective lieutenant, I am not a political person and have never gotten involved in politics before. This year I feel compelled to speak my opinion from someone with inside knowledge and views. I have worked for three sheriffs and with and around many top law-enforcement officials. Sheriff Christesen is a standout. I have never met anyone so passionate about getting back to the core of law-enforcement - protect and serve the public and put criminals in jail.
Sheriff Christesen truly believes the most effective and transparent service occurs when the Sheriffs Office works in partnership with the community. His creation of nine volunteer programs brought forth 106 support personnel and saved the tax payers over $550,000 in comparable worked hours. Additionally, he brings in respected, local business leaders to assist in the selection process of mid-level management positions within the Office, proving his belief in transparency.
Sheriff Christesen runs a truly professional organization with the highest standards. As such, it is occasionally necessary to transfer people to duties more line with their abilities, and correct inappropriate actions and behavior with appropriate discipline. While no one enjoys it, the integrity of the organization depends on it.
A good campaign should promote the candidates past achievements and accomplishments. Based on that product you can fairly gauge his plans and promises. A few individuals have recently tried to convince the public that our Office is in a state of distress and turmoil. Be wise to these misleading claims and their suspicious timing. Do not let a few sour grapes misrepresent the view and opinion of the masses of outstanding employees, and exceptional leadership that guides our great Sheriffs Office.
As a member of law enforcement I am embarrassed by, and apologize for, the negativity slung about our honorable profession is past month. Please take the time to vote and make it heard that you too are tired of the antics.
For a couple of weeks I have watched a few individuals attempt to convince the public that our sheriff is a dictator and they misrepresent themselves as our champions. I currently serve as the lieutenant over the special operations division. In my 16 years with the Sheriff's Office I have never seen such harmony and internal cooperation. That was severed by a politically motivated ambush on a good man's character and accomplishments that have benefited our community. The shockwave of this attack has damaged many personal and profession relationships, some of which had no interest in being involved in politics.
In less than four years your Sheriff's Office has accomplished more for our community, than past administrations have done in eight years. This was a willing team effort by the entire office. The components to our success were: the desire to serve our community, good working relationships and the support and leadership of Sheriff Ken Christesen. Our office is now looked at as a role model for sheriff's offices around the state. That is the reason 27 N.M. Sheriff's support Sheriff Christesen for re-election. Not only has San Juan County and New Mexico benefited from Sheriff Christesen, but he led N.M. Sheriff's to rally against national gun control laws.
Sheriff Christesen has had a motto during his first term: "it's the right thing to do". He has ran his campaign like a gentlemen and will not let anyone represent him that doesn't do the same. I believe it is the right thing for me to do, reminding the citizens that you need to evaluate the candidates on what they have done. Two of them have been leaders in their organizations for a few years. Did they do what they said they would? Why haven't they done what they are promising in their current positions? Ignore the infighting. These are personality conflicts, nepotism and hidden agendas. They have nothing to do with our community or the service we provide. Under Sheriff Christesen's leadership, I read our mission statement and can say we are doing the right thing for the people we serve.
It is with great pleasure that I author this letter of endorsement for Sheriff Ken Christesen. This pleasure stems from supporting a great leader and standing behind him in his campaign to be re-elected as the Sheriff of San Juan County. However, with this pleasure is a small sense of sadness; sadness that is rooted in the need to defend a good man against manipulative and calculated attacks; attacks fueled by personal animosity which have done nothing except cause a fissiparous environment amongst some in the office and require valuable time and effort to rebut.
As a lieutenant with the Sheriff's Office I have personally witnessed the forward-moving progress made under Sheriff Christesen's lead. These advancements have been made with the ultimate goal of enhancing the quality of life for the citizens of San Juan County. Service is of the utmost importance to him. Furthermore, Sheriff Christesen holds each individual's rights afforded to them by the U.S. Constitution at the very core of his decisions, a quality much needed in our current government. The community is lucky to have such a leader and I am proud to serve under his command.
After June 3rd I look forward to knowing our relentless forward progress will continue for another 4-year term with Sheriff Christesen.