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I am proud to announce my run for the office of Buncombe County Sheriff.  I made this decision after speaking with many community members, as they help me, find new ways to partner for a safer Buncombe County.

The three most important topics that come up in conversations with Buncombe County citizens are:

1) Communication between the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office and the people they serve.

2) The drug / breaking and entering / larceny problem.

3) Abuse / neglect of our animals.

I believe that the Sheriff’s Office needs to get back to the basics of law enforcement, beginning with better communications. Looking at both inside and outside of The Department, Sheriff Van Duncan began and maintained a level of transparency and accountability in the Sheriff’s Office that I want to build on. To further open the lines of communication as we partner with citizens in our community.

It is my belief that when someone becomes a victim of a crime, they should be able to talk to a deputy face to face.  They should maintain contact with the Sheriff’s Office, through that same deputy, from the first contact, through disposition of the case.  If the case gets moved to the Detective Division, then that Detective should make contact with the victim, to talk directly to them about their case. The Deputy who initially spoke with the victim, should also be informed of what Detective received the case. They should then follow up with the lead Detectives to insure that the victim has been contacted. In the event that the victim has not been contacted by a Detective, the Deputy should provide them with the Detective’s phone number.  Never should you have to call the Sheriff’s Office and be transferred from division to division to get an answer, or to speak with someone.

There is a SERIOUS DRUG PROBLEM in Buncombe County that must be addressed.  I worked in this division for years and unfortunately have seen many lives destroyed as people lost their jobs, their families, and homes.  I have also seen the broken families left behind, struggling to find answers.  We have to get out in to the communities where drug dealers live and sell, and shut down their illegal businesses.  The main avenue that drug users get money to buy their drugs with, is from breaking in to homes, cars and businesses, and stealing from their loved ones.  Partnering Detectives in drug units with Detectives that work break in’s, should help in the flow of information for everyone. Communication between departments is the key.

The Sheriff’s Office was asked by the Buncombe County Commissioners to take over the animal control program in May of 2006, as threats of violence against animal control personnel began to rise. There are many days where Animal Control Officers take large numbers of calls regarding abuse and neglect of animals, sometimes as much as 2 to 1 over other calls for service.  This is a serious concern, and one I feel we need to address aggressively. We need stronger ordinances, laws and punishments for those who harm and/or neglect an innocent animal.  Animals are like babies, they cannot speak for themselves.  It’s up to us to take care of them when they are in need.

I’ve addressed the concerns shared with me during my first two weeks of my listening campaign.  I want to hear more from you, so please, if you have a concern, contact me at ChrisWinslowForSheriff@gmail.com. You can also follow me on facebook at Chris Winslow For Sheriff.

Respectfully,

Chris Winslow
Candidate for Buncombe County Sheriff