In Your Opinion: Provenzano Brings Much To Sheriff’s Office

By Lt. Robert C. Sanders, Jr., Somerset County Sheriff’s Office, Retired

Sheriff Frank Provenzano is running for reelection and I urge everyone to support him. He has initiated several programs that did not exist before he became Sheriff including the K-9 unit, a gang unit, Project Lifesaver, a child safety seat program, a county wide medicine collection, the HERO Campaign for Designated Drivers, response to active shooter training, providing a school resource officer and the Sheriff’s Office Special Response Team.

I was surprised to find that Darren Russo has claimed that he is the only candidate with law enforcement experience. Sheriff Provenzano certainly has a long history of law enforcement. He joined the Bridgewater Township Police Department in 1968 and retired in 2001 as Captain of the Administration Division. As a member of the Bridgewater Police he was involved in virtually every aspect of police work from road patrol to working undercover assignments in the detective bureau and the Commander of Emergency Service Division, which included, SCUBA, Heavy Rescue and HazMat. He was an assistant coordinator for the Somerset County Emergency Response Team, hostage negotiations unit. He is a graduate of the 2002 National Sheriffs’ Institute Executive Development Program, sponsored by the National Sheriffs’ Association and the National Institute of Corrections. Additional information can be found on the Somerset County Sheriff’s Office website at www.somcosheriff.org.

The Sheriff’s Office, not department per Mr. Russo, has been very active and involved within the local school systems and senior centers. The recent statements of Mr. Russo certainly do not ring true. He should have done his homework. Mr. Russo obviously does not know that the mandate of the Sheriff’s Office is first and foremost to protect and secure the court house and county buildings, including the county jail. Mr. Russo’s platforms – “new” cyber programs and partnering with local police departments – are already in existence thanks to Sheriff Provenzano. So what is Russo really bringing to the table other than cheap talk?

It was my honor to work for Sheriff Provenzano during my 25 years with the Somerset County Sheriff’s Office. I urge the community to do the right thing and to continue the important programs initiated by and to vote for Sheriff Frank Provenzano on November 8, 2016.


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