Ken Magee is running for election as Washtenaw County Sheriff. This is Ken's submission for WEMU's "Soapbox Summer" series.
I'm Ken Magee, working to earn your vote as your next Washtenaw County Sheriff. Born and raised in Ann Arbor, I have 33 years experience as a police officer, chief of police, and highly decorated federal agent that served throughout the world. I have served in assignments that included, patrol, undercover, tactical, anti terrorism, organized crime, national security, executive leadership, community engagement and drug prevention. I have dozens of awards from various countries and law enforcement agencies documenting my contributions to making the world a safer place. I am fully capable and ready to lead our Sheriff Department through this dangerous time in our countries history. Washtenaw County is not immune to the tragic events we see unfold throughout our country. We have been fortunate not have endured one of these major crisis we have seen on national TV. However, as nationwide events escalate, if an event occurs in our hometown, I am fully prepared to handle any crisis. I have the background and experience that are unmatched.
We are facing a growing heroin crisis, increased terrorism, and ongoing violence involving law enforcement. We need to be honest about these issues so that we can address these issues.
Last year, there were 49 overdose deaths involving heroin, this is unacceptable. It is time to stop treating drug addicts as criminals and provide treatment for them. I have the experience working around the world, developing teams and having a collaborative approach to stopping drug cartel leaders like Pablo Escobar, or working with grassroots organizations to combat the methamphetamine epidemic our country previously faced. I have a proven plan to help stop the growing heroin crisis. My plan is a comprehensive strategy that engages the community and will focus on, Prevention, Enforcement, Treatment, Education and Recovery. 49 lives were lost, I have a better idea, my plan will save lives and stop the revolving door of recidivism and relapsing of addicts.
At the 1996 Atlantic Olympics, I saw the impact of terrorism up close, doing my job by running into the blast zone to help save the lives of those wounded by the exploded bomb and later testifying against the Olympic bomber. On Christmas day 2009, I spoke directly to the terrorist after he tried to blow up an aircraft flying to Detroit. While serving overseas, I saw dozens of terrorist attacks that killed so many. Terrorism isn't going away and my experience working to capture some of the worst criminals in the world, meeting face to face with terrorists, gives me the international and national experience to help keep you safe. Being directly involved in these atrocities only fuels my desire to prevent others from experiencing what I have witnessed.
Tensions between police and the community are running at an all time high. We have to be honest about the causes of this and address the issues together. We have an obligation to make sure bad and mediocre cops are retrained or replaced. We have an obligation to make sure our deputies have the best training and equipment to serve and protect you. I believe the most important decision a law enforcement leader can make is "Who they hire to become a police officer". The police officer hired is a reflection of the department, the community and its values.. The right police officer creates a healthy lifelong bond through out the community, the wrong police officer is a cancer that spreads through out the community and impacts everyone.
There is much to be done to address the growing heroin crisis, fight terrorism and restore the trust between the community and those of us who work every day to keep you safe. I am ready for this challenge, to protect and saving lives, and I bring the right experience at the right time.