Monday, October 25, 2010

No Arrests, No Warrants Served, and Fishburn Wants to Be Sheriff

Dennis Fishburn is out on the campaign trail and is touting his 29 years of law enforcement experience as a reason why you should vote for him to be our Marion County Sheriff. The GOP nominee's 29 years should be applauded and respected, but it just isn't the kind of experience that stands up to John Layton's 36.

The Fishburn campaign is putting all of its chips on the 29 years of experience Fishburn accumulated between the Marion County Sheriff's Department and the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department. His ads are not really that specific about what he's done in those 29 years, and they aren't specific for good reason. (Editors Note: The ad for Another Cool Design comes with the embed. GRRR)

Dennis Fishburn For Sheriff - Public Safety is Personal from Another Cool Design on Vimeo.

FISHBURN For Sheriff - Public Safety is Personal from Another Cool Design on Vimeo.

So, what has Fishburn done?

In the last few years, Fishburn has been, essentially, a pawn shop detective. Sources tell me that he compares the serial numbers of stolen property to those of property found in pawn shops. If he finds something, he picks up the phone and calls somebody to take the investigation farther.

Compare that to what Colonel John Layton has been doing the last eight years. Layton has been at the right hand of Sheriff Frank Anderson. When Sheriff Anderson is out of town or unavailable, John Layton has served in his role as the leader of the Marion County Sheriff's Department and its thousands of employees.

John Layton has worked at every level of the Marion County Sheriff's Department. He has served on road patrol, undercover, in the jail, and management. As his excellent ads point out, Layton founded a gang intelligence unit. Layton and Anderson also have implemented a program that puts a Sheriff's Deputy on every sex offender in Marion County, and that program requires Layton and Anderson to participate by keeping track of sex offenders, too. This ad from John Layton's campaign talks about that aspect of the Sheriff's job.

This ad talks about Layton's experience.

The long haired dude in the Sheriff's windbreaker that's busting into the home? That's John Layton. The guy in the helmet with the big gun pointed at a suspect. That's John Layton.

There's more to all of this, though. It has to be brought up, even though I am reluctant to do so.

Fishburn has decided to make his son's tragic shooting a part of the campaign as well. He says that it's why he's running for Sheriff, to give back to the community that supported his family. If this is truly the case, I salute him for his desire to get involved.

And, while I have a moment, I want to say that Jason Fishburn's survival was a result of his strong will to live and the great medical care he received at Wishard Hospital (Dennis Fishburn was a strong advocate for a new Wishard Hospital last year, and I applaud him for that). I am so amazed by Jason Fishburn's progress since being nearly killed by a truly nasty individual. Jason Fishburn should be an inspiration to us all.

Let's put that aside and concentrate on Dennis Fishburn for just one more second.

Dennis Fishburn is running ads that imply that if warrants were served correctly that his son's shooting might not have happened. I'm never sure that a one-to-one comparison can be drawn in any case, and I feel bad dragging this into the conversation. It was Dennis Fishburn, however, that brought this up, so let's look at the facts.

Under Sheriff Frank Anderson, the number of deputies tracking down warrants has gone way up over Jack Cottey's Administration. Secondly, I'm told that Dennis Fishburn has never served a warrant--not once. That bothers me. If you are going to talk about it like you know how to do it, then you had better have done it. There's almost nothing that John Layton has not done in the Marion County Sheriff's Department.

People want to marginalize the Marion County Sheriff's Department now that the brown cars aren't patrolling the streets, but it's still a major part of public safety in this community. Not only do the deputies run the jail, but the Sheriff is in charge of security at the City-County Building, the sex offender list, warrants, the 911 call center, and processing those who are arrested.

The GOP wants you to elect someone who has never made an arrest and has never served a warrant in 29 years of experience in law enforcement? To me, that makes the choice easy. John Layton has the experience and the plan to be Marion County Sheriff.


Anonymous said...

It's really too bad, it woudl have been a hell of a race between Layton and McAtee. Fishburn is a joke, sad thing is that he is not smart enough to know that Tom John used him

Anonymous said...

Interesting article, and thanks for being objective. I have heard, however, that under Sheriff Anderson (and Layton as well) the budget for the Sheriff's Department has gone up tremendously despite the merger. My question is, why does a budget go up for a department if that department has lost many of its members? It smells of misusing taxpayer funds, but I've only heard. Do you know anything about this?