Monday, May 9, 2011

Candidate Profile: Mike McConnell

A couple of weeks ago I did a candidate profile on Julian Whittington, former Bossier Parish Chief Deputy who resigned to run for sheriff. Since his resignation, both Sheriff Larry Deen and Undersheriff Doyle Dempsey have said that they will not run.
I emailed Mike McConnell the following questions and told him that in fairness and to present all of the information we can get to our readers, I intended to do a profile on him too. I sent the following questions and asked him to address them.
The Questions
1. I know you have said you are in this until the finish, does that still hold true?
2. All the pundits are saying that Whittington has a huge advantage (and he probably does). What is your response to this?
3. How will you be able to compete financially?
4. Tell me why you would make a better sheriff than Whittington.
5. Has your support softened any since Larry Deen dropped out, or are you gaining more supporters?
6. What is the primary message you want to get out to voters?
The Reply
Jim,
Thanks for the interview for your candidate profile.
I will attempt to answer your questions and also throw in some other things that I know will be of importance to the voters of this parish.
I am an underdog in this race for Sheriff. When I announced my candidacy for sheriff in January, I wondered why Sheriff Deen did not defend his position and also announce his run, especially with a viable candidate challenging him. When Sheriff Deen announced his retirement, it changed the dynamics of this race, and I would like to think that I was instrumental in causing this feat, but humility
dictates otherwise.
Some things in this race will stay the same, but some have changed. I am still committed to this race and to the people of this parish to the very end, and it is no secret that Larry Deen’s old money backers have aligned themselves with Chief Whittington. It is also no secret that under my command, the Bossier Sheriff’s Office will no longer be for sale.
My message is clear: My duty is to the citizens of this parish and to the employees of the Bossier Sheriff’s Office. First, my dedication and pledge to the citizens of this parish that their safety is first and foremost the most important thing to me. The north and south ends of this parish have been neglected for far too long. One deputy patrolling from the Bossier City limits to the parish line during the evening shift is inexcusable. The same holds true for the Plain Dealing area. One deputy patrolling over 230 square miles is poor management. And to compound things, 4-6 deputies for the whole parish on graveyard shift is reckless and has great potential for liability. As it stands now, the citizens see a large number of deputies patrolling during the daytime which gives the impression that there is the same protection at night while the citizens are indoors or sleeping. This is only a perception because there are more deputies on day shift than evenings and graveyard shift put together. I will implement a program that could double the patrol deputies on the streets at any given time. I will utilize the corrections deputies from the jails who wish to expand their horizons and knowledge to ride out on patrol with an experienced patrol deputy. This will have a great impact on morale and benefit the citizens for whom we work. Also, there is no extra cost to taxpayers. This is a win-win for both the citizens of this parish and the sheriff’s office.
I will implement a “Citizen Ride-a-Long Program” where citizens can ride with patrol deputies for a firsthand account of how their sheriff’s office is working towards a more secure future.
I will implement a “Wayward Youth Ride-a-long Program” where high school aged youth will also have the opportunity to ride with a patrol deputy to see how poor choices could and will have a negative impact on their future (parent’s permission/liability wavier of course) .
Second, my duty to the hard working employees of the Bossier Sheriff’s Office will be second to none. As of now, rank has only been given to those who can benefit the Sheriff. The sheriff’s office has many knowledgeable people within its walls who would make fine supervisors, but unfortunately, they will retire without any rank. I will implement a true rank structure within the sheriff’s office where All who wish to rise above will have the opportunity to do so. Under my command, the “Good ol’ Boy” system dies with my predecessor.
I must also mention that no administrator or employee will lose their job, nor will I change the retirement system when I take office. They have worked with worse; I only request that they work with me to better the parish and the sheriff’s office. These are hard times and I will not place undue or unneeded burdens upon the employees of this sheriff’s office.
On October 22, the citizens of this parish will have to decide what type of Sheriff they want. We have two totally different backgrounds. Chief Whittington has been an administrator for many years, and with that, I feel he has lost touch with the community and policing in general. I, on the other hand, have stayed abreast of crime and crime causation, and I am kept current on crime trends through continued education.
The first thing that I will do as Sheriff is to speak to the employees about my plan for greater morale and ease their fears of a new administration. I will stay connected with citizens by traveling around the parish speaking to civic organizations and church groups about “Domestic Violence” and “Personal Safety”, which I already do.

82 comments:

  1. I see red flags with juveniles in riding with law enforcement officers on what could be a dangerous ride....regardless of waivers from guardians of liabililty....i am no lawyer so correct me if I am wrong...a waiver would not keep someone from suing the department...perhaps a more helful program would be to establish a mentor program...which would include a tour of the jail...what do you think...???

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  2. Mike,
    I have said it and I'll say it again. As a fellow law enforcement officer, your vision is spot on as to the direction BPSO need to head. I just hope you can get all the undecided voters to the polls. Remember, People who are not in law enforcement do not understand how bad the sherriff's department was operated. Your going to have to explain all the things Larry Deen did in detail and how Julian sat by and did nothing about it for 20+ years.
    Your the underdog. You have nothing to lose. Good Luck

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  3. Anon 10:38
    You are correct, waivers or permission do not protect anyone from liability, we are a sue happy society. The "rider" will not be permitted to leave the vehicle while on calls. The in-car video system and mic that the deputy wears will enable the "rider" to hear the conversations between the deputy and complainants/suspects without putting them in harms way. Your idea about touring the jail is right on target and headed in the right direction. I like it. Maybe opening it up to all Middle and High Schools in the parish would make an impact on juvenile crimes.
    I appriciate your comment and eagerness to become involved in the community in assisting in making this parish and sheriff's office better. I wish there were more like you.

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  4. Mike, you may want to understand how the in car video system works. Someone sitting in the unit can not hear an officer's body mic during its recording mode, only during playback and of course, they can do that in a classroom setting where it is much safer.

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  5. I'm not a McConnell fan but in fact you can hear the mics. You have to turn the volume up while it is recording. The reason it's not like that when the officer is in the car is because it will squelch out. If you are a deputy and you say this become familiar with your equipment. All camera's: Digital Ally, L3 Mobile Vision, Watch Guard,Panasonic,and the various other digital models do this. But only when it's in record mode. I do agree however that you create a situation of liability. What happens when you stop a vehicle and someone steps out blasting at the unit and the child dies? Show the parents your waiver. Not a good idea. Adults yes, kids--not so much.

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  6. Anon at 3:04-you are incorrect. There is a speaker in the vehicle and it will record what is said inside/outside of the car. I have no idea who this McConnell guy is but he definitely has my vote!

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  7. I have read many comments on this blog complaining about the way Deen ran the BPSO. I believe that he is a corrupt person and a master politician. Whittington was a senior member of his organization and as far as I know never spoke out against Larry's way of doing things. If elected I believe that it will be more of the same. Please consider voting for McConnell. It sounds like he has some good ideas.

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  8. Stupid question. Does everyone in the parish vote for Sheriff or just "out of city limits" parish residents?

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  9. Everyone in the parish votes for sheriff.

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  10. McConnell needs to go home. This election is wrapped up. Julian will be elected. There is no doubt. John Hall Matlock doesn't stand a chance either. I am so ready for this election to be over. There will be much more to come and it is already tiring. I wish all the Shreveport/Caddo people would stop commenting on what is happening outside their parish. Let Bossier residents handle our own parish. That includes McConnell and his Caddo cronies. His biggest supporter is a Caddo attorney.

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  11. Who cares about who his biggest supporter is? The man actually sounds like he has some sense.

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  12. Leave the man alone. He seems to have some sense and that is more than the other candidates have.

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  13. Annon 8:22. I live in Bossier and was an officer in bossier for 12 years. I know both Larry Dean and Mr Whittington and have no respect for either. Mr. Deen and his father have always thought they were above the law. I have been present when Mr. Deen called a deputy telling them not to arrest a prominent supporter of his for DWI but to take them home instead. So it's not just people in Caddo Parish who support Mr. McConnell for Sheriff. And no Mr. Whittington doesnt have this race wrapped up just yet. He may have all of Larry Deens old Cronnies and financial backers but I think the average man will see that Julian is nothing more than Larry Jr.

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  14. Mr. Kartman,
    Thanks for the support. This election is far from over and I hope to bring out more details that will give the voters a more informed view before election time.

    Again,
    Thanks

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  15. Ready for a change!May 11, 2011 at 11:05 AM

    I would love to know more about this guy. Does he have a website?

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  16. http://www.mikemcconnellforbossiersheriff.com/

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  17. I can understand the logic with correction officers riding along with patrol deputies to increase manpower, but how long do you it would be before the excitement wears off and they would stop giving up their free-time to ride along for nothing more than experience.

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  18. how long do you think it would be before the excitement wears off.

    Sorry for the typo.

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  19. You can increase patrol easily by eliminating all the "do nothing" positions that Larry Deen created for his cronies and make them patrol the streets and answer calls. Teach them how to write reports also rather than call other agencies to do it for them. The "posse" can be used for funeral escorts and that would free those guys up also.

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  20. After I retired from another agency I chose to move to Bossier Parish because the crime appears to be lower and the smell is better on this side of the river. It didn't take me long to see how things ran and who ran the train. I always thought the chief law enforcement office should have the same experience as me--directing traffic in the rain, no back up on gun calls, fights, frequent shift changes due to lack of affection to the right posterior, ect, before acting like he has all of the tools to make life better in his jurisdiction. I don't want an office puke to run the department, but I don't want to see someone who has huge political affluent allies either. Look at Caddo SO.

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  21. It is obvious that many people have been unsatisified with the way the Sheriff Office has been run in the past years, yet there has not been anyone to step up to the plate and try to make any changes until now. How come all those complaining now haven't been vocal about all the wrong that has taken place.

    If some research is done not all Sheriffs thoughout the state have all the law enforcement experience that is being talked about in this race. With this being said those without law enforcement exp. do have backgounds in the law such as being a lawyer.

    The sheriff position is a manager position, the sheriff shouldn't have to be out patroling the streets. If the task of the dept are being accomplished that is what is important.

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  22. Anon @ May 11, 2011 4:09 PM: What's wrong with Caddo SO?

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  23. May 11, 2:16
    Thanks for the comment. I plan on compensating the deputies with "comp time" when they come out and ride. As it stands, Sheriff Deen does not pay his deputies overtime which is illegal (per the Department of Labor). The deputies only get two weeks off a year and if they want time off, say to go see their child in a play or to watch them at their T-ball game, they have to burn their vacation time to do it. Everyone enjoys a little more time off with their families.
    I feel this is a great advantage for the department and for the citizens of this parish.

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  24. Anon 4:34
    I hear what you are saying, but I would have to disagree. The top law enforcement official needs to be more than just a desk jocky, he or she needs to know the law better than anyone else because everyone looks to that person in dire times. They also need to know about crime and how to reduce it. I doubt any desk jocky administrator or lawyer can do that. I want my sheriff to be a hard nosed cop with some experiance with fighting crime because we all know that the sheriff's deparment has been soft for far too long.

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  25. One stupid idea after another, they just keep piling up! You want to put kids in patrol cars? You won't be able to afford the insurance premiums.
    Compensate corrections officers for "ride along " shifts? I guess there is an abundance of officers in the jails that you will be able to let them all off to go watch plays and tee- ball games. Just give the keys to the inmates and let them run the facilities. All this feel good stuff sounds good, but it won't wash. We need dedicated officers, keeping the parish safe, not off on COMP TIME watching Peter Pan. You and your ideas should have stayed put in a civil service system. One that gives employees 2 days off for every holiday, time and a half overtime, double pay on holidays.... That's part of the reason crime is so high in Shreveport, all the officers are either off on vacation or taking comp time!

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  26. Mr. McConnell:

    In an effort to get to know you and your work ethics better, please answer a few questions for me.

    1. How long were you at each agency.

    2. How long were you a Bossier City Reserve Officer?

    3. Why did you leave each of the agencies to enclude the Reserve Program?

    3. Explain why you went to work for an agency and then quit to go to another.

    Seems you don't stay anywhere very long, just need to know to make a choice...

    Thanks!

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  27. Jaxson in HaughtonMay 12, 2011 at 10:43 AM

    Anon May,12 8:20
    Doesn't sound like you are trying to make an informed decision at all. Sounds as if you are head hunting.
    You and the idiot before you. Sounds as if Mr. McConnell is trying to think outside the box, but you two are closed minded. I appriciate that he is trying to do the right thing. That's what this parish needs, someone who isn't afraid to try new things. Yes, it is true that some things will fail, but somethings could turn out to work well. The Wright brothers were told that they would never fly.

    I don't think Mr. McConnell should answer your remarks since you will only use it against him no matter what he says. I bet that if he told you he was a preacher in his younger days, you would accuse him of molestation.

    I, along with others are tired of hearing your crap.

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  28. i just wanted hear it from his mouth, not the others on the street who have known him. Let him make the decision to answer the questions or not. He shouldn't be afraid, after all he should be like a open book, since he is asking the people to TRUST him! You must be very close to him, just saying!

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  29. Oh by the way, welcome to politics!

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  30. For Mr. McConnell.....
    please elaborate on the qualities you possess that led to you to your rise in the ranks of the previous agencies and at what rank you achieved prior to your departure from those agencies. As you know the Sheriff is the highest ranking law office in the parish and therefore should be filled with someone who has in fact achieved something

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  31. 11:19,
    It's looks like your head hunting to me also. McConnell has already answered all those questions. He has been an OPEN book ever since he announced he was entering the race.
    I have yet to see Whittington answer any questions or say anything about the changes he plans on making to the department.

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  32. Where did all of the comments go? I was really looking forward to reading the newest info!

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  33. Where did all of the comments go? I was really looking forward to reading the newest info!

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  34. Mr. McConnell.....I would like to know what success you have had in being promoted within the previous organizations where you worked in law enforcement. If you have not been worthy of rising within the ranks of your previous department, where you were well known, why should I think you are capable of being the best person for the job of running the Bossier Parish Sheriff's Office. With the large budget and equally large pool of employees I want someone that has experience as a manager in addition to their Law enforcement experience.

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  35. This morning I watched a Bossier deputy in uniform walk out of a restaurant and get into his personal car parked in handicapped parking space. And low and behold, a plainclothes Bossier deputy in an unmarked sheriff's car pulled into the handicapped parking space the first one pulled out of. There are lots of changes needed at the sheriff's office.

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  36. All the talk here about law enforcement versus management experience . . . remember the greatest city marshal in the history of this state was a hair dresser before being elected.

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  37. I was stopped once by a Bossier deputy because I was driving in the left lane and not passing in front of Wray Ford. He said that he would not give me a ticket because at the time it was a new law. I checked with another law enforcement officer and the law was not yet in effect. How many BPSO cars do you see driving in the left lane but not passing anyone. Their policy seems to be "do as I say not as I do."

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  38. Anon 5:18 i agree with your post and would like to add to it. Prator, who is well liked in caddo parish was just a sergeant when he became chief of police.

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  39. Anon 2:51
    MAT is that u?

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  40. 2:51
    Sounds as if you are implying that Whittington, because he was an "administrator", is the right man for the job. He is not! He was promoted simply because he is Larry Deen's cousin and nothing more. He was never a leader nor will he ever be because leaders are born and not made. You either have it or you don't. Whittington doesn't have the drive or personality to be leader.

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  41. BPSO Deputy

    Good point. Some people think because a person is in a management job, he is automatically a good leader. I have personally seen Whittington do some things that a good leader would never do.

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  42. Don't mistake kindness for weakness. We've had too much drive in that office, need some good management. Julian is the one.

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  43. Jim:

    You left some post out, plese repost them, I want my questions answered by Mr McConnell!

    Thanks!!

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  44. 9:28
    MAT is that u?

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  45. Jim:
    You left some post out, plese repost them, I want my questions answered by Mr McConnell!
    Thanks!!

    Everything should be here, unless Blogger lost them in the last day or so, they had some major problems. Sorry for the inconvenience.

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  46. Anon. 8:38
    U dont know what the hell your taking about. This department is all show an no go! We are the laughing stock of all the departments around here. We cant arrest anyone or write tickets and people pass me in my marked unit when im driving the speed limit. Sheriff Deen does anything to win votes. Seems everybody knows this but u. There are a ton of us that are voting for McConnell.

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  47. They are not all there, guess I will have to repost them myself. Thanks

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  48. Mr. McConnell:

    This is a repost of some questions that need you answer.

    1. What law enforcement agencies have you been employed?
    2. How long were you at each agency and why did you leave?
    3. How long were you a Bossier City Police Reserve Officer, average monthly hours logged and why did you leave?
    4. What makes you more qualified than the others to be Sheriff?

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  49. 11:43,
    Why didn't you ask any questions when a candidate profile on Whittington?

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  50. If you will go back and read the Whittington post, the stuff I stated in it was a result of questions I asked him. The difference was that we sat down and talked and he answered. I wanted to do that with Mike, but couldn't get in sync on scheduling (mostly my fault), but I didn't want to wait too much longer so I emailed him the questions and printed his response.

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  51. Anon 12:30
    The reason the McConnell "heckler" didnt ask questions when whittington was profiled was because he is a spy for that camp or it is someone that McConnell arrested. It is evident that he has an axe to grind.
    Sorry Jim, the question was for him and not for you to answer.

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  52. annon 11:43 He has already answered those questions numerous times. My question to you is why no questions for Julian. lets ask him what good hes done for BSO other than sit in his office and work on Benton Du business and have lunch

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  53. 4:53 true, very true

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  54. Don't be so rude, just asked some simple questions! I guess he is afraid to answer the questions, does he need you to run interference for him or what? Just answer the questions please!

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  55. I feel as if the issues have to be clouded to cover up something when someone comes back instead of answering the questions, they bash the person asking the question! So typical, what you you think?

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  56. 2:17,
    How many times do you have to be told? He has already answered your questions several times. Why don't you answer the question on why you didn't ask Whittington any tough questions?

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  57. May 14, 11:43
    I was out of pocket this weekend, but have now returned. I do have to agree with other posters, I have answered all those questions on other posts. Feel free to look back through them and find the answers you seek. You have made it very plain that no matter what I say, you will try to belittle me and use it to your advantage. I will, however, answer questions about my campaign platform or ideas to mover this parish and sheriff's office into the 21st century. Or, if you wish, leave your real name and phone number so that we might speak in person. I would like to ask you if we have ever met before, arrested you, your family or friends or If I offended you in another life, Because you act as if we are mortal enemies. If you do not like the things that I want to do for this parish, then by all means, vote for someone else.

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  58. Well said, Mike

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  59. Well it is apparent that my questions are not going to get a direct answer, have a nice life playing ring around the rosey!

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  60. It appears as if you are not going to answer Mr McConnell's questions either. At least he leaves his name and you still hide. Need I go on?

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  61. 8:36,
    He said leave your name and number and he would call you and have a conversation with you. Better yet, call him. He has hid nothing. You are just proving what we already know. Your just trying to head hunt.

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  62. I do not need to know anything else about Mr. Whittington. I know what and where he has been his entire career. I do know he has been with the same department his whole career and not acting like a grasshopper jumping from job to job. That concerns me a great deal, why cannot he stay in one place? I want to know personal things about a candidate. Personal issues could prevent him from being a leader I can trust and follow, just look at Obama with his personal issues. I do not need to talk to Mr. McConnell, you all have made up my mind for me and you be surprised who I will support. The one I will support has not yet announced!

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  63. Terrance in BentonMay 17, 2011 at 10:43 AM

    8:52
    What a crock! You badger McConnell but not Whittington, yet you say that the candidate you follow has not even announced yet? My concern with Whittington is that he is Deen's cousin, he was put into management because of blood and nothing more, he has been passive his whole career and it is only now that he stands up because he is mad? Looks like Deen finally saw what the rest of us have seen for years.... Whittington is not a leader, he is a follower and nothing more. If Whittington didn't like the way Deen was running things, he should have stood up to him years ago instead of just sucking up that
    100k+ a year job and being weak. And, I suspect YOUR candidate is the same, a good ol boy, who will only continue to move this parish backwards.
    I have some questions of my own that I want answered by Whittington:
    1. How long was he a top adminstrator?
    2. How long did he spend in each rank?
    3. How long did he work as a patrol deputy?
    4. How many arrests did he make?
    5. Was he ever a Detective?

    Two can play your silly game, and I want them answered. If you can't answer them, then find someone who can.
    I want a sheriff who has experiance in fighting crime, not being an administrator the majority of his whole career or working as a DARE officer. Obama didn't have any experiance and you see what that has gotten us. Quick now, find me some answers.

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  64. Maybe it boils down to a cop vs a bureaucrat.

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  65. I second that!!

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  66. If you have made up your mind to support someone else, someone who hasn't even announced, then why are you so concerned about McConnell? That would make his answers to you irrelevant.

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  67. His candidate must fear McConnell

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  68. No fear only wasted time thinking I might get an answer to some simple questions, only got intimidation, which never resolves anything. I guess this will be the expected tactics! Should have known better - Have a nice life!!

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  69. Please shut up and vote for anyone you choose.

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  70. Terrance in BentonMay 18, 2011 at 3:17 PM

    Intimidation??? hahahahhahhahhahahahahahahahahaahhahahahahahahahahahahahahahaah... uhhhhhh....hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!
    uh, how did you know I was 7 feet tall with lots of muscles and holding a bazooka? Oh, and 300 pounds?

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  71. There was no intimidation. You came on here to pick a fight with McConnell and he punked you out.

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  72. Who would have thought a political newcomer would have forced Deen out of office without even having to challenge him in an election?

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  73. Heard on talk radio this morning a campaign ad for McConnell for Sheriff. It sounded pretty good. He spoke of not raising taxes and the sheriff's department being transparent and cutting wasteful spending. We surely need that.

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  74. I just saw a John H. Matlock for Bossier Sheriff sign in Bossier City. Is anyone familiar with Matlock or his campaign?

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  75. There are many reasons that my family and I will vote MCCONNELL for sheriff. But let me share one with you. In the 4 years I have worked for BSO, I never once heard, or read anything Julian had to say. In less than a few shifts mcconnell earned my respect and trust. I know how he handles himself in the face of danger and stress. It seems that mcconnell's concerns are for you the citizen and me the deputy's safty. Go Mike!

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  76. If people believe it's time for a change? Then please realize jullian is Larry's first cousin? What would we really be changing? Vote McConnell!

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  77. How is Whittington gonna pull down all his millions of signs after the election? There is no way he can remember where he put all of them! Frankly, I'm tired of seeing them. Seems that his campaign is going in the direction of the Sheriff's Office: Spend, Spend, Spend! And when you are done spending, spend some more!

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  78. Whittington left because he got upset when Deen made Dempsey the #2. Deen would have never been there if it weren't for the money the Whittington family put up for his campaign years ago. So when Deen over looked this part of the equation Whittington got mad. That along with getting sent to be Chief of Corrections right before he left I think pushed him to his point. Alot of changes need to be made to the Sheriff's Office for sure. Morale is extremely low there. You have Captains who post memo's in the jail that say " If you do not like your job quit, We interview every Thursday". What type of employee morale do you expect to get when the upper management is saying things like this? McConnell has my vote and every one that I have talked to as well.

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  79. This is not hard for anyone to figure out. You have a candidate (McConnell) who has like 200 thousand or so in contributions and campaign funds and great knowledge in Criminal Justice. He has worked the system, missed meals with his family and put in long hours and hard work. He has been in law enforcement for many years and currently teaches Criminal Justice. On the other hand you have a candidate (J. Whittington) who has stood beside the crookedness and politcalness of the Sheriff's Office for 22 years. He has allegedly worked himself through the ranks although many deputies cannot recall him being a Lt. or Capt. This does not mean he wasn't but if he was then it was not for very long. His family contributed very heavily for Deen's campaign 28 yrs ago. He has over $500,000 in campaign contributions currently. You decide what you want tomm. Do you want a man who has less campaign contributions, worked the system and earned everything he has? Or a man with a huge amount of campaign money, handed ranks because of who he is and has yet to tell the citizens his plans for the Parish or the Sheriff's Office. Remember it may boil down to your child or loved one getting hit by a drunk driver and due to certain people contributing certain amounts the suspect gets away with a slap on the wrist. The more money from contributions then the more get out of jail free cards and dont write my son a ticket type things take place regardless of what people say.

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  80. Anonymous October 22, 2011 12:27 AM

    I believe if you check, his contributions were only about $22,000 total!

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