There’s a new sheriff in town
By Rima Austin | August 9, 2018 8:52 am
Last Updated: August 9, 2018 at 5:52 pm
Newly elected sheriff Steve Page plans on making some changes in the top law enforcement department in the county.
Page stressed he recognizes the professionals who are there now are doing a great job, but he has noticed some changes that could be made to make their jobs easier and make things better.
Page stated he plans to make the White County Sheriff Department a Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies facility within four years. According to Page, this is the gold standard under which law enforcement agencies operate.
“I’m looking for professionalism,” said Page. “My goal is to have an accredited, professional department.”
Page also said having an accredited facility opens up more opportunities to obtain grants from the state. He expressed the deputies need more laptops for their vehicles, as well as other equipment, to make their jobs easier.
“For instance, a K-9 program,” continued Page. “We are going to have a good K-9 program. I’m going to see to it.”
Page elaborated on the K-9 program, saying that a good unit will help protect officers and is also a big advantage to help stop the drugs that are brought into and through the county by way of Highway 111 and Highway 70. He stated if an officer pulls a car over and suspects them of harboring illegal drugs, and the operator of the vehicle does not give consent to have the vehicle searched, a K-9 officer can be brought in, and, if alerted to drugs in the car, it can give the officer probable cause to search that vehicle. Training officers in what to look for when searching for illegal drugs flowing through the county is also important to Page, and he stated that he expects his officers to always act in a professional manner.
“The number one thing to me, the number one thing, is respect,” said Page. “My officers will know what you have to do to get respect, and that is to give it.”
Cammy Howard, Page’s campaign manager and soon to be administrative personnel within the department, stated they are not there to degrade anyone who is already in the organization.
“It’s important to say, too, though, that there are some educated and professional people there,” said Howard. “[Page] thinks that there are some opportunities for those that have talents that aren’t being used. So he is going to look to see what they are good at and put them in a position where they can use that talent. Burnout happens, especially in law enforcement.”
Page stated he plans on doing something this year that has not been done in the recent past. He plans on having a booth at the White County Fair. Page will also be featured in the White County Christmas parade.
“He is a man of the community,” said Howard. “He is really a community leader, not just a law enforcement leader.”
Page explained he plans on his office becoming more involved with the school system. With the new school resource officers being approved by the county budget committee, that should not be a problem. He stated that Kurt Dronebarger, White County director of schools, seems to be on board with his plans to become more involved with the schools.
Page went on to say that it takes a leader to change things, and he plans on being that leader. He said he wants to thank the people of White County and to tell them thank you and God bless.
“In these next four years, they are going to see a big change is going to happen,” said Page. “With the good Lord’s help, it will happen.”