Letter to the Editor: Barry Smith capable of leading DCSO into future

May 13, 2022 | 12:01 am

Updated May 12, 2022 | 9:52 pm

Graphic by Owensboro Times

To all Daviess County Citizens,

I am J. D. Marksberry, a former Major and Chief Deputy with the Daviess County Sheriff’s Office. As the May primary approaches, we have heard many positive things, from various citizens, about the attributes of Sheriff Barry Smith and his challenger, Officer Brad Youngman. Having the privilege of knowing both of them, I can attest to the fact that both are good, capable men. That being said, in my opinion, Sheriff Smith is the candidate I feel is most capable of leading the Sheriff’s Office into the future.

Like myself, Barry seasoned himself on road patrol before rising through the ranks to his current position. While serving on the road, so to speak, Barry distinguished himself through his courage, dedication, and level-headed approach to addressing issues. Fortunately for us, these same characteristics translated into the leadership qualities we were seeking. The advantage he had, as we soon learned, was an incredible business acumen.

Many people equate the Sheriff’s Office with pursuing criminals in the county, working car wrecks, serving warrants, and investigating burglaries. Constitutionally, the Sheriff’s Office is tasked with three things: Tax collection, prisoner transport and security (court), and the service of civil process papers. The Daviess County Sheriff’s Office is somewhat unique because it also provides full-time professional law enforcement in addition to their constitutional duties. This is only possible, on the level it is provided, due to a $2.9 million subsidy from our Fiscal Court. Needless to say, Fiscal Court expects the Sheriff’s Office administration to be exceptionally frugal with the finite amount of money it is able to provide. Since joining the Command Staff, Barry Smith has proven himself more than capable in the forgotten side of the department, the business side.

Sheriff Smith has cultivated, and maintained, an excellent working relationship with our Fiscal Court, the County Treasurer, community leaders, OPD and KSP staff, District and Circuit Court Judges, and several members of city government. The budget for the Sheriff’s Office is complex in nature. There is budgeting for salaries, vehicle replacement, vehicle equipment, fuel allotments, deputies clothing and equipment, training and training supplies, fee collection, office equipment and supplies, computer repair, etc. Sheriff Smith has worked on each and every one of these budgeting issues. Because the office is funded primarily through fee collection, the budget most certainly has ebbs and flows. Issues such as lower tax rates, lower civil process service, the price of fuel, and unforeseen overtime all affect the budget process. Sheriff Smith has faced ALL of these issues either as Sheriff or Chief Deputy.

Add to these several other areas that must be addressed by the Sheriff. There is an annual audit that must be facilitated, accreditation standards that must be met, election duties that must be discharged, mutual aid agreements, memorandums of understanding, grant management, asset forfeiture account management, and various boards and committees. Yes, Sheriff Smith has done all of these things too.

Being the elected Sheriff of Daviess County brings with it a myriad of responsibilities. Are there better ways to do certain things? There usually is. Are there innovative products or ideas that might be implemented? Certainly. There seems to be an infinite supply of ideas and techniques, but, unfortunately, there is a finite amount of money with which to realize them. Many ideas simply can’t survive fiscal reality. Sheriff Smith recognizes this fact, and does an admirable job working within those confines. He is fiscally conservative and has proven himself a worthy steward of taxpayer dollars. No doubt he will stretch the available funding to maximize the Sheriff’s Office’s capabilities in serving our community.

In closing, both Sheriff Barry Smith and Officer Brad Youngman are, again, good capable men. The community is blessed to have both of them. Remember though, when you are at the polls, the Sheriff’s Office is as much a business organization as it is a law enforcement organization, and it is your tax money that supports both. Barry has 27 years of law enforcement experience, a commanding understanding of the business side, and thus, has my endorsement for the Office of the Sheriff.

Written by
Major (Ret.) J. D. Marksberry
Former Chief Deputy

May 13, 2022 | 12:01 am

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