As your sheriff, my first priority will be to bring the Guilford County Sheriff’s Office back to acceptable staffing numbers. Although the Sheriff’s Office is funded for approximately 700 personnel, it is currently short some 100 positions. This has created long waiting periods for obtaining documents, permits and other services for our citizens. As well, response time for calls in the field are rising along with the crime rate. Deputies are working vast amounts of overtime to compensate for the shortages which has created safety concerns for our citizens and our deputies.
Bringing our staffing levels back to an acceptable number will not be a simple task. We compete for qualified people with a vast number of law enforcement agencies in North Carolina. Simply saying I will implement an aggressive hiring program is not enough. Besides basic common sense issues such as bringing salaries in line with Greensboro and High Point, I intend to step outside the box and implement programs that work for industries outside of law enforcement. This approach will allow the Sheriff’s Office to attract good, qualified people from all walks of life who have chosen to answer the call to serve.
Poor leadership contributes to morale issues directly affecting retention problems. The good ole' boy program will be a thing of the past. Promotions and assignment policies will be based solely on the most qualified person for the job or position--operating outside this philosophy hurts moral, the Sheriff’s Office and the citizens of Guilford County.
I will work to bring the Sheriff’s Office to the cutting edge of law enforcement by bringing back the quick DNA program, by instituting the most technologically advanced crime fighting equipment and proven community policing philosophies that have significantly reduced crime throughout the United States. I have decades of law enforcement experience beginning as Army Military Police, followed by NC A&T Campus Police, High Point Police, U.S. Border Patrol and ATF (Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms) as an Undercover Agent. While I received extensive training, there is always more to learn and I have a passion to learn and equip others to be the best we can be.
Working with our citizens will bring confidence and trust back to the Sheriff’s Office. As portrayed by so many misguided persons and organizations, law enforcement is not the enemy of the people. I will implement an outreach program where we work with resources within our communities to truly help our citizens. When our deputies encounter situations where people are in need of help outside the purview of the Sheriff’s Office, they will be trained to offer aid and have ready access to organizations such as food pantries, West End Ministries, the Salvation Army, the Red Cross, Urban Ministries or the Family Justice Center, Family Services of the Piedmont, to name a few. Where we can help our citizens, we will.
Finally, to our criminal population who are unredeemable and intent on preying on the good citizens of Guilford County, the Guilford County Sheriff’s Office will be enthusiastically coming for you. We will use all lawful means available to us to protect our citizens and to lock you up. It is our hope that you choose a better path.
Sincerely, William "Billy" QueenCandidate for Guilford County Sheriff