Monday, April 23, 2012

Layton Takes Responsibility, Makes Change

Sheriff John Layton
When John Layton was elected Sheriff, I knew Marion County getting a good lawman.

Even the most dyed-in-the-wool Republican law enforcement insiders that I talked to would tell me that John Layton was a good man and would be a good Sheriff.  Now, we have tacit proof.

The Indianapolis Star published a report last week that there were tons of errors in the Sex Offender Registry that is maintained by the Sheriff's Department.  The registry showed a cornucopia of erroneous information and, frankly, was a mess in some parts.  Many of those errors had to predate his own administration.

The Star had another report on Sunday.  Acting on that report from last Sunday, Layton ordered that many of the errors be corrected.  He even ordered that the registry be updated past what the state requires to make it more accurate than other counties.  To that, I say another, "Bravo!"

How did the registry get this way?  To be fair, Layton promised to put a deputy on every sex offender on the registry.  I posed a question about this program and how it's going, and I received a response from Kevin Murray, General Counsel for Sheriff Layton.  He sent me a Letter to the Editor penned by Sheriff Layton.

In the letter, Layton says that every deputy with a vehicle is required to visit four to five offenders every 30 to 90 days.  The letter also states that, while the Marion County Sheriff's Department is responsible for maintaining the list by state law, that the General Assembly has provided no funding to the department for the purpose of doing that.  He says that the Indiana Sheriff's Association will continue to work with the General Assembly on that regard.

Layton also states that while the Sheriff's Department is required to make sure the registrations are correct that it's actually IMPD that takes the registrations from the offenders.  Layton says that he's working together with Public Safety Director Frank Straub on that issue.

In short, there's lots of opportunity for error, but it sounds like Layton and his department is working hard to fix the issues.

One way or another, you have to commend Sheriff Layton for being willing to stand up, admit the problem, and take action to correct it.  Don't you wish every public servant had the same attitude?

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