Last week as the Hayden City Council was discussing looking into the feasibility of switching from having a sheriff to having a police department, I spoke out in opposition to it and said that I preferred to have a Constitutional Sheriff. I’ve been asked for an explanation of what that means to me.
Basically, a constitutional sheriff is expected to have a strong commitment to upholding and defending the U.S. Constitution, including the Bill of Rights and other amendments. He is expected to ensure that his law enforcement practices and policies are in line with constitutional principles.
I also believe that a constitutional sheriff would advocate for limited government intervention and believe in protecting the individual rights and freedoms of citizens. He may resist federal overreach and encroachment on the powers of local law enforcement.
Strong support of the Second Amendment, which protects the right to bear arms, is essential in a sheriff. He may resist or oppose gun control measures that he sees as infringing on this right.
A sheriff is accountable to the people who elect him, whereas a police chief is appointed by a mayor and is accountable to him. In this case, who would investigate political corruption? A sheriff must be unbiased and free.
There is also the question of funding. Being funded by taxpayer dollars and not federal grants that could have restrictions or requirements associated with them, is also important.
When it’s all said and done, all forms of law enforcement will cost the taxpayers. But I believe that having an elected sheriff is the best scenario as far as preserving freedom and liberty is concerned.