Opinion: Retired Det. Sgt. says Engle best choice for county sheriff
To the Editor:
As a retired Detective Sergeant from the SLC Sheriff’s Office, I supervised both candidates for Sheriff. I have information to help voters decide who has the honor, integrity, accountability, and transparency to be the next sheriff.Both candidates took exams through their careers to advance from deputy to sergeant or detective sergeant. But I believe the office was restructured from four detective sergeants to one detective sergeant and five detectives to help O’Brien bypass previously required exams. This allowed deputies to be appointed to detective by the sheriff rather than test to be promoted.
Both worked to close cases. Engle taught newer officers, showing them how to complete thorough investigations and professional paperwork. He also encouraged teamwork. In my opinion, O’Brien took a posture of look at what I did, I made the arrest, I did all the work- despite knowing it was a team effort.
As recently as 2022, then Assemblyman Walczyk and Senator Ritchie carried a bill on O’Brien’s behalf. The goal was to get credit into the state retirement system that wasn’t earned. It would’ve given O’Brien 5 months credit while in the police academy. But, his time there was as a sponsored cadet not a hired officer. Neither a municipality or O’Brien were paying into the state retirement system. Several officers within SLC used this process to become police officers and hundreds statewide, yet they were not on this bill.
Last, the second amendment is a very important issue for this race. Engle is a true supporter of 2A. He is a Marine veteran who served his country, a hunter who has taught his daughters how to shoot, and has an amazing collection of old guns. O’Brien says he’s a 2A supporter, but truly isn’t. When I was still working, O’Brien, myself and four other detectives sat together one day discussing the Safe Act. O’Brien indicated that he didn’t think any normal person needed an AR15.
Is this a statement a strong 2A supporter would say?
The citizens of SLC deserve to have this information so they can make an informed decision when voting next month.
Ret. Det. Sgt. St. Lawrence
County Sheriff's Office