Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Opinion: Why I Support Todd Maddox For Sheriff

Letter To The Editor:

After working with the candidates during my 16 1/2 years in law enforcement, I spoke to them about their ambitions, vision and qualifications for this all important position.  After doing so, I am supporting Todd Maddox in his run for Sheriff of Brevard County because of his overall experience and service to the citizens of Brevard County for the last 22 years of his total 26 years in law enforcement. Todd's experience and exposure is vast as he has served in the following capacities: Deputy Sheriff, General Crimes Agent, Homicide Agent, Patrol Sergeant, Investigative Sergeant, Patrol Lieutenant, Lieutenant of the Special Operations Division, SWAT Team Member, Hostage Negotiator, Commander of the Hostage Negotiation Team, Commander of the Emergency Response Team and Public Information Officer (a position that must receive command endorsement).   It is important to note that he has served in these positions while in the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office, the office for which they are all running.  

As such, Todd Maddox has been there for the community and has responded to the citizen’s homes in times of need, investigated and arrested robbery and burglary suspects, locked up sexual predators that prey on our children and successfully investigated homicides, thus bringing closure to countless families. Todd continued to serve the community by further placing himself in harm’s way as he tackled Brevard’s most violent situations as a S.W.A.T. Team member.  Todd later transitioned to Commander over the Hostage Negotiation Team.  It was during that role that he successfully ended a very volatile hostage situation, again in this very same community.  As a supervisor, he managed and coordinated the recovery efforts in Barefoot Bay as they bounced back from devastating storms. As a matter of fact, it was while serving our community that Todd received one of the highest recognitions we can bestow on an employee, the honor of being Deputy Sheriff of the Year.

It is very easy for any candidate to say that they are the better manager, better administrator and one who handles budgets and a whole different thing to actually be an administrator and manager. The reason I say this is no matter what the title may have been, it is important to note that no other candidate except for Todd Maddox has risen over the 1st level of supervision despite some of the candidates having more than 30 years of law enforcement experience. The fact is no other candidate except Todd Maddox actually supervises other supervisors and by job title / description and duties, is considered Middle Management. Before his division was dissolved and his schedule changed, Todd managed nearly 170 employees within the Special Operations division to include Bomb Squad, Motor Unit, Reserve Unit and others, including approximately 12 other supervisors. This obviously begs the question as to what true leadership / managerial skills do any of the other candidates have if they themselves, after so many years of service, could they not go past the very first level of supervision or achieve a higher position?  

The Brevard County Sheriff’s Office serves nearly 600,000 citizens and has over 1,200 employees.  The position of Sheriff is too important to not choose what is, when compared apples to apples and oranges to organges, the best qualified candidate given their experience and position.  It’s because of this that it is clear to me Todd Maddox is the only one that has proven, tested leadership and administrative skills along with the firsthand, hands-on experience that can only be gained by working within the agency for the last 22 years.  Couple this with the support of the majority of the department (a conservative 70% as stated  by multiple staff members), I am backing Todd.  With his current position of middle management, he is open to change for the betterment of the agency and the safety for the citizens while at the same time running the agency in an efficient, cost effective manner.  

 Alex Herrera

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