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Support Crider for Sheriff


October 18, 2018

Dear Editor,

We live in dangerous times. Law enforcement is a much more challenging profession than it used to be. When I got out of the Navy and began my first day at the Walla Walla Sheriff’s Office on Sept. 1, 1976, I was issued a Smith & Wesson Model 10 civil defense pistol and sent off to work the fair. By the time I retired 37 1/2 years later, our whole world had changed. The technology, legal constraints, and violence in society are daunting. As of Oct. 4, 41 U.S. law enforcement officers have been killed in 2018. There is no room left in law enforcement for shortcuts or the good ole boy system.

The recent shootings of seven officers in Florence, South Carolina, reminds us of the dangers out there. Florence is a city of 38,000 people; Walla Walla 32,000. Three sheriff’s deputies went to serve a search warrant. They were shot by a suspect with a high-powered rifle, as were the four city officers who responded to back them up. All seven officers shot, one killed. Then a hostage situation involving children played out. That could happen here. Someday, Walla Walla County may have the worst day it’s ever had. If it does, the sheriff we need is Mark Crider, Navy veteran, trained FBI agent, firearms & active shooter instructor, experienced leader of men and women, the man the deputies endorse.

There are no shortcuts to true leadership. A million years ago when I went to the police academy, I damaged my ulnar nerve. But I had a passion for law enforcement and I knew I had to pay my dues. So I went home, had surgery, healed up, returned, and successfully completed the academy. It matters. I’ve coached football, been the Grim Reaper, played Santa Claus, things I love doing, but they have nothing to do with the challenges of law enforcement. Shortly before I retired I realized one night that one of my officers (who’d lived in Walla Walla his whole life) didn’t know where Goose Pit Road was. That doesn’t matter. Technology fixes that. What matters is knowing what to do on our worst days. The men and women of the Walla Walla Sheriff’s Office and the citizens of our county need Mark Crider to keep us safe and moving forward!

Jim Romine



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