Letter as submitted by Ocean County Sheriff candidate George "Bob" Armstrong:
Recent media reports of the county’s stable Fitch ratings is not the whole story and does not address the millions of dollars wasted in the Sheriff’s Office and the Department of Corrections. County officials should stop wasting money on studies and do what I proposed three years ago — merge the two departments like so many other counties have done.
The governor and the public support it, and if elected in November, it will be my first priority.
Sheriff Polhemus has completely mishandled his department, and the costs are staggering. How can the Sheriff’s Office and the Dept. of Corrections justify $4 million in overtime, and how can the Sheriff justify paying 54 of his employees over $100,000 each? This is outrageous.
I will utilize these officers for law enforcement duties, work which they were trained for. Our local police departments could certainly use the help, and I believe the sheriff’s officers would welcome the opportunity to assist throughout Ocean County in true law enforcement. As it is, the current Sheriff is wasting their talents.
My proposal to merge Corrections with the Sheriff’s office will greatly reduce bloated salaries, overtime and political patronage. This worked well for over 100 years in Ocean County until Sheriff Polhemus was elected 27 years ago. For purely political reasons, Mr. Polhemus and the freeholders separated the Department of Corrections and hired a jail warden. That was wrong, and I will change it.
George “Bob” Armstrong
Democratic Candidate for Ocean County Sheriff