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Sheriff Candidate: Cross-Training Officers Could See Overtime Savings

Bob Armstrong says debate on these and other issues needed

Letter as submitted by Bob Armstrong, Candidate for Ocean County Sheriff:

Supporters of my opponent for sheriff claim my proposal to cross-train sheriff’s and corrections officers isn’t realistic. Those claims simply reveal a lack of vision on the part of the sheriff and Ocean County’s entrenched leadership.

Right now county officers cannot fill in for each other when the need arises. As a result, the county paid sheriff and corrections officers $4 million for overtime in 2011. That expense could have been greatly reduced if qualified officers had been interchangeable.

With training at the Ocean County Police Academy in Lakewood (which some county authorities would like to close), those officers could provide mutual backup and more. Corrections officers, for example, could attain the status of sworn law enforcement officers, expanding Ocean County’s crime fighting and emergency response capability, especially under a re-energized sheriff’s department.

Would it be easy?

Of course not.

Cross training would require a change in the culture of both groups, not to mention approval of the Police Training Commission in the New Jersey Department of Criminal Justice. Rules such as age limits might still apply. Since cross training would be voluntary, we would have to provide incentives to those officers who elect to take part. But reduced overtime would more than pay for those incentives, and the greater public benefit would be a more versatile and nimble security resource for Ocean County.

It would be easier to accomplish if corrections were returned to the Department of the Sheriff where it belongs, of course, but a program could still succeed within the current administrative structure. 

I would very much like the opportunity to debate this publicly with Mr. Polhemus, but he is nowhere to be seen or heard on this or any other issues.

Bob Armstrong
Candidate for Ocean County Sheriff

Can't shut me up September 08, 2012 at 04:42 AM
I just want to put on the record I NEVER vote for DemocRATS but you will be my exception. I refuse to vote for Polhemus who is too mentally incompetent to hold the office of Sheriff. Food for thought: Why is Sheriff's officers manning the metal detectors at the courthouse doors at a salary of $100K a year when you can use the security department to do the same job at way less? This irks me and should irk other taxpayers too.
George September 08, 2012 at 11:44 AM
Even us senior citizens know that the inDumbent sheriff is too old to function in the job anymore. It's too important a job in today's crime-ridden OC to let him coast on his reputation from a simpler, by-gone era. Even an over-the-hill Babe Ruth was replaced by a better player! The sheriff is living on my tax money, and I'll vote accordingly.
Paul September 09, 2012 at 02:41 PM
What happens when a gun or a knife come through that same metal detector. Do you expect non sworn security officers to detain and arrest these offenders with a radio and keys. The metal detector is the first line of defense against a potential deadly threat to hundreds of people in the building. Ask a judge or court staff if they would prefer an unarmed person protecting them.
Surf City September 09, 2012 at 03:02 PM
You all are naive. This is OC, a Presidential election year in a very Rep County and where the vast majority of Rep's in ths County vote the party line. Paulhemus will win by a bigger majority then the last time he beat this Armstrong guy. Take that to the bank. Look, Armstrong seems to be a good guy. He just cannot win on that ticket in this County. Especially when he pal's around with the like's of the also ran and lost 100 times Michelle Rosen. Probably the worst candidate the D's put up in two decades in this County.
Ray September 10, 2012 at 12:23 PM
Do you really think that the Unions will go along with cross training Sheriff Officers and Correction Officers? Ain't going to happen. Sheriff Officers should be allowed to issue traffic summons when they are on Patrol. Polhemus won't let them. They also should be rotated in various positions. Those working in the courts are usually older and less aggressive officers.
Carolina Shores September 10, 2012 at 11:22 PM
The real problem here is IF Polhemus does win, he will be replaced within a year because of health problems with a Gilmore replacement. The OC GOP figures let's go with a name and not a body because down the line A column voters won't care when they see a familiar name, even though they don't know the man who can't push a shopping cart on his own. I hope all the commenters here spread the word that Mr. Armstrong is the only choice here and that party affiliation should be left at the door and not brought into the booth on this one.
River City Rover September 16, 2012 at 02:07 PM
"I would very much like the opportunity to debate this publicly with Mr. Polhemus, but he is nowhere to be seen or heard on this or any other issues." Bob Armstrong Awful big of you Bob, since you have been shooting off about the jail, why not ask the Warden to debate you? He'd make mince meat out of you.
Sophie Sie September 27, 2012 at 04:20 AM
I’m not speaking for any Party because the “Party” subject is part of a sophisticated political machine. I simple have no required mechanical knowledge to argue for any “Party”. But, George BOB Armstrong’s wisdom of macroeconomic perspective to use Taxpayers’ money wisely in combating the governmental wide financial crisis is deserving a chance to lead the county’s largest law enforcement agency. Joseph Grisanti’s wealth of experience and service in enforcing and following the laws is deserving a chance to continue serving his beloved taxpayers with honesty and integrity to safeguard all taxpayers’ American dream. Pat Barndt’s great social consciousness in her elegantly poised win-win proclamation of that “I’m running because we all deserve better.” for September 11, 2012 Asbury Park Press is awaking New Jersey taxpayers to catch a dream and run with her for better. Catch your American dream. Let’s run with BOB Armstrong, dance with Joseph Grisanti, and fly high with Pat Barndt in the realm of truth, faith, and integrity. Sophie Sie
Oldman TomsRiver September 28, 2012 at 12:45 PM
Polhemus won't debate, he won't interview, he won't come out of hiding. But what he will do is WIN another term as Sheriff. I'm a Republican and I find this embarrassing. He's not getting my vote. Here's the goal for the Polhemus machine: Keep him away from the public, don't let this geezer near a camara and absolutely no sound bites! The Rebublican's (not me) will vote this statue back in. If he dies while in office, the Under sherriff takes the wheel for another 10 years (I would say another 50 years but the under sheriff if 80 years old) Think of what's at risk if they don't get Polhemus wheeled back in. All the cronies on the payroll, all the gravy jobs, all the Sheriff's guys doing Sheriff things. What do they do by the way? When was the last time in your entire life, you said "Oh no, somebody please call the Sheriff". So think about this: When Polhemus wins and locks this baby up for another 5 years, he's going to be 90 years old and run again and WIN! For as long as he lives, he's going to be your Sheriff! It's not his fault, he has no idea we're all ranting about this. He's probably in a crazy house right now wondering what time the price is right comes on. Just for a second, try and picture what Polhemus is doing right now.... Do you really think it's productive Sheriff stuff. (whatever that is)

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