1.) What do you plan to accomplish in your first 30 days? In your first 90 days?
Berlin: Place deputies back in the communities, as my team evaluates existing employees and determines in which positions they will be most productive. Conduct an inventory of seized and fixed assets, ensuring all items are accounted for. I will begin working to create an aggressive narcotics and investigation unit while patrolling and keeping communities safe. During the first 90 days, I plan to have the department back to full staff and working proactively. I plan to personally meet with each Neighborhood Watch leader, working with the communities to see an increase in the Neighborhood Watch programs. I will also be looking into the budget to see where the department can save from excess spending. I will be working to obtain equipment to keep the department moving forward.
Davis: First and foremost, I want to begin to regain the public’s trust. I want to increase the number of auxiliary deputies in the first 30 days to help with manpower issues. In 90 days, I want the narcotics arrests to be in the double digits. I also hope to have our SWAT and special operations group fully equipped personnel in place and running routine operations. I also plan to have the indictments service up to date and/or well documented.
2.) What process will you use to give current JCSD employees a chance to keep their jobs?
Berlin: If elected as your Sheriff, I am/and will be open to all current employees wishing to stay with the department. I have had several reach out to me. The performance of each employee will be evaluated, and a decision will be determined.
Davis: My chief and I will hopefully have an opportunity to speak with everyone to see what their strengths, education and experiences are. If they like their job and are doing a good job, I see no reason to replace them, provided they can see our vision of the way things will be conducted.
3.) The current Sheriff has attempted to unload some equipment and other resources. Are you concerned about the condition the department will be in at the end of his term?
Berlin: The current Sheriff stated that the department would be in better shape than it was when he took office. I would hope that he is a man of his word, but I have information that he was trying to give away the armored vehicles, patrol vehicles and interdiction equipment. I would hope that he would leave the department and equipment as it is. There is no reason to start over from when he originally took office. If there are issues, we will overcome them.
Davis: I have some concerns because some services have been stopped, which I personally feel should have kept going, but all in all, I think it will be a smooth transition.
4.) Will you try to reinstate providing security at the school events?
Berlin: The Board of Education has found a private security company to oversee protection for school events which is made up of certified officers from multiple agencies. Until the security company can no longer provide adequate security, I see no reason to change what is in place now. The department will work closely with this company to make sure everything goes accordingly and all school events are being protected.
Davis: Absolutely. I would provide the county schools with security. They have always used deputies, and I believe it is our responsibility to do so.
5.) Why are you the best man for the job?
Berlin: With 22 years of full-time Law Enforcement experience, I carry with me numerous certifications directly and indirectly related to law enforcement. My certifications include, but are not limited to: Hostage Negotiation, Interview and Interrogation, DUI and Field Sobriety, Basic Narcotics Identification, Gang and Drug Investigations, Mental Illness (C.I.T.), and many others. I am currently up to date on all laws and statutes. I believe in treating all people with respect and dignity and will work hard to bring respect back to the communities. I will work towards building a group of employees who will work proactively to fight the war on drugs and crimes while respecting the citizens of Jones County.
Davis: I believe I am the best suited because I have the benefit of working at the sheriff’s office in several capacities in the past, and I have knowledge of the day to day operations, knowledge of the court systems, investigations, narcotics, the indictment process and all the other papers served by the sheriff’s office. I have handled the animal calls, the land line disputes, and so on. I am a people person. I never meet a stranger. I believe the sheriff should be a person of good character and integrity. Due to the vast number of different people he will come in contact with daily, he should be able to talk with confidence and knowledge, especially when dealing with many other elected officials from federal, state and local. This job is a calling and is not for everyone, but I never grow weary in serving. I look forward to serving the fine folks of Jones County if they choose me for the job.