Where there’s smoke, there’s usually fire ... not this time
by Justin McGill, General Manager -- jmcgill@cadizrecord.com
Aug 06, 2014 | 57 57 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Saturday afternoon, an interesting article was posted on the Facebook page of the Trigg County Sheriff’s Office – “County Police v. the Elected Sheriff” by Former Sheriff C.R. Smith, Jr., of Orangeburg County, South Carolina.

The point of the article, in brief: County officials are led by political motivations when they want to enact a county police force, and creating such a force is a detriment to that county’s elected sheriff and the taxpayers he serves.

A fair point in a debate that, as most arguments do, has two sides.

My question: Why are we talking about this?

Did I miss something? Did the Trigg County Fiscal Court discuss the creation of a county-funded police force?

Within the comments of this Facebook post, the anonymous mouthpiece of the Trigg County Sheriff’s Office account says a citizen raised the question. So, it would be quite easy to say, “Hey, I was asked a question and I answered it on Facebook. I wasn’t trying to accuse anyone of doing anything.”

It’s Facebook. Of course people are going to put two and two together, whether it’s actually two and two or not.

The nameless account-holder comments again later, adding a point that had not been previously queried – “There is a KRS for County Police and a KRS for Animal Control.”


In 2010, Ray Burnam was elected in place of long-time sheriff Randy Clark, who moved on to the Cadiz Police Department and was recently named Trigg County’s ... you guessed it ... animal control officer.

Another comment discusses the Louisville Metro Police Department and how it was formed by the merger of the Jefferson County Police Department and the Louisville Division of Police.

So we’re supposed to believe that the hiring of an animal control officer separate from the sheriff’s office is not only the first step toward a county police force but also toward a combined Cadiz-Trigg County metro-style government?

That argument isn’t spelled out specifically in the post or comments, but when you put two and two together ...

This isn’t the first controversial debate started by or involving our sheriff in the last four years. Anyone who’s been paying attention to any of the murder trials here in that time already knows that.

It appears to be another effort under the umbrella of Burnam’s campaign slogan “Oath Before Orders.” The slogan itself insinuates that there are people above the sheriff telling him what he can and can’t do and that Burnam intends to do whatever he feels is right regardless.

That attitude suggests a lack of trust in those with whom the sheriff should be working most closely. It also creates a character who, to anyone paying close enough attention, appears more concerned with people’s opinions of his job performance rather than the job performance itself.

If you’re convinced that what you’re doing is right, you shouldn’t have to spend any time trying to convince anyone else to agree with you. That’s what politicians do. Trigg County doesn’t need a politician in the sheriff’s office – it needs a sheriff.

Justin McGill is the general manager of The Cadiz Record and can be reached by email at jmcgill@cadizrecord.com.
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