I cannot comment on active Asheville Police Department investigations while employed as an APD officer, but I wanted to share my thoughts on the issue of trust and accountability within the law enforcement community.
I’m proud of my work in the community and I see and encounter many friends and familiar faces while wearing the uniform. If an officer cannot say “Hey, how are you doing today?” without invoking distrust or a fear response from a community member then we have failed the community.
Our duty is to protect and serve.
We have to set an example. Just as society urges its citizens to respect law enforcement, law enforcement must respect all of its citizens.
If I am fortunate enough to be elected as Sheriff of Buncombe County I will implement a policy of zero tolerance. Upon completion of a investigation, action will be taken to address any violations or misconduct in a timely manner. And I will hold all deputies and employees accountable on all levels of my administration for their actions and work to make sure our deputies reflect the values of our community in everything they do.
If we are serious about community policing and swearing an oath to protect and serve our community, we must move from the mindset of a warrior to a guardian, from intimidator to protector, from us versus them to a community of WE!