Sheriff Will Maddox Says...Rickey Stokes
Posted by: RStokes
Date: Jun 01 2018 12:44 PM
HENRY COUNTY SHERIFF WILL MADDOX RESPONDS
TO DOTHAN EAGLE ARTICLE ABOUT SHERIFF CANDIDATES FOR
HENRY COUNTY SHERIFF
In regards to comments made by other candidates in a recent article, Sheriff Will Maddox would like to add that he agreeschange is needed, that’s why we continue to make changes for the better each and every year. My department has continued to improve and I believe that the department is the best it has ever been; however, we will still continue to work on improving to better serve and protect the citizens of Henry County.
The Henry County Sheriff’s Office has always worked well with all the surrounding agencies that were willing to do so. We invite this cooperation and leave it up to each administration on how much assistance they need from us. I also agree that all law enforcement should be on one radio system and I’m going to continue to do everything I can to make that happen. All State Troopers and Game Wardens assigned to Henry County were issued radios from our department at no cost. This was done to help bridge a gap in communications; however, this problem is bigger than Henry County. Crime doesn’t see county or state lines. We need a radio infrastructure that gives all agencies means to communicate in case of major incidents, without depleting the budgets of smaller agencies.
I pride myself with the officers in the department being well trained and experienced. Being a smaller agency training is sometimes harder to accomplish while keeping shifts covered; however, the Henry County Sheriff’s Office receives moreannual training than some larger agencies. The Henry County Swat Team trains bi-weekly and 50% of its members have achieved Advanced Swat Certifications. The Swat Team is used regularly to conduct high-risk and narcotic related warrant services as well as being used by surrounding counties.
The HCSO has no inter-department communication problems. The department conducts the following meetings: Monthly Departmental meeting for all deputies in which any new laws or policies are passed along, Bi-monthly Supervisors meetings where any information can be discussed and distributed to each supervisor, Weekly CID meetings where Investigators share information with Patrol on cases to work together to solve the crimes in the county, and monthly Reserve Officer meetings where Reserve Officers receive training and discuss upcoming details. The department also uses modern technology to pass along vital information without having to pay overtime to officers who aren’t on duty. The department can’t afford to pay overtime to each deputy to call them in for weekly meetings.
The Reserve Unit consists of 20 Volunteers; some of which are certified officers, some are pilots, and others are just community members who want to make their community a better place. The Unit is commanded by Sgt. Eric Blankenship who began his law enforcement career as one of my Reserve Deputies in 2009. I have hired over a dozen officers from the Reserve Unit during my term, some have went to work for other agencies including the State, but I still have 7 current Deputies/Investigators who started here as a Reserve Deputy. The reason this is important is there’s no stronger passion than that of a volunteer! These men/women live in the community, they call it home, and they go above and beyond to keep it safe for your families. The Reserve Unit Volunteered over 4500 hours in 2017 saving the department and county over $70,000.00. It would be impossible to operate the department efficiently without the assistance of the Reserves and to them I am forever grateful. We consider this agency as one big family. If someone has a need we come together and try to supply for that officer in need.
There is no other candidate more qualified for this position than I am. Jay Henry Claims to have 12 years of experience but he only became a certified officer in November of 2017. Prior to then he wore a gun and badge but had no arrest powers. I became a certified officer on June 13, 1980 and have a 99.2% conviction rate. My agency is audited regularly by the State Auditor’s Office to ensure we are held accountable for the tax payer’s money. I have an open door policy and will talk to anyone-anytime, this invitation is also open to any of my deputies if you would like to ask them their opinion of how the department is running.