By: Deb Kitchenmaster
“We will appoint as justices, constables, sheriffs, or other officials, only men that know the law of the realm and are minded to keep it.” Patrick Henry.
What is the position, the authority, and the very presence of a sheriff in a county? The office of sheriff reaches well over a thousand years, from the early Middle Ages to present day ‘high-tech’. A sheriff is typically the top law enforcement officer of a county and an elected county official government agency. The sheriff’s office is generally active in all three branches of the criminal justice system: law enforcement, the courts, and corrections.
President Ronald Reagan in his address to the National Sheriff’s Association on June 21, 1984, said, “Thank you for standing up for this nation’s dream of personal freedom under the rule of law. Thank you for standing against those who would transform that dream into a nightmare of wrongdoing and lawlessness. And thank you for your service to your communities, to your county, and the cause of law and justice.” Sheriffs are the keepers, or chiefs, of the county.
Under King Alfred the Great (871AD), the sheriff was responsible for maintaining law and order within their own boundaries, yet every citizen understood their duty was to assist the sheriff in keeping the peace. If a criminal or escaped suspect was at large, it was the sheriff’s responsibility to give the alarm – the hue and cry, as it was called. ANY MEMBER OF THE COMMUNITY WHO HEARD THE HUE AND CRY WAS THEN LEGALLY RESPONSIBLE FOR HELPING TO BRING THE CRIMINAL TO JUSTICE. This principle is alive today in the procedure known as posse commitatus.
The role of the sheriff did not end in the taming of the Wild West. Today there are over 3,000 counties/parishes in the United States, and in almost every one there is a sheriff. Alaska is the only state in which the office of sheriff does not exist. Rhode Island sheriffs are appointed by the governor. And in Hawaii, deputy sheriffs serve in the Department of Public Safety’s Sheriff’s Division.
Many sheriffs enlist the aid of local neighborhoods in working to prevent crime. The National Neighborhood Watch Program, sponsored by the National Sheriff’s Association, allows citizens and law enforcement officials to cooperate in keeping communities safe.
For those of you who have a computer, and a few moments visit the site of https://ordros.com, click “Go to public CVR” (CVR stands for cast vote records). These records are available to the public for asking or filing a FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) request. Lastly, click on “How to view the number we have for each state.” As of a recent check, Alabama has zero. Why? We have 67 counties. A county in California was receiving several calls requesting CVRs so they posted the 2020 results on their site and directed people to download from there. It appears that we the people of Alabama are being denied what we are privy to if we want. A request for these records were made prior to September 3. That was the cutoff date for election records to be kept. Secretary of State John Merrill’s number is 334-242-7200. And Attorney General Steve Marshall’s number is 334-242-7300.
On Friday (9/9/22) Judge Greg Griffin dismissed a lawsuit against John Merill and the Alabama Electronic Voting Committee. The lawsuit alleged that Alabama’s voting machines are unreliable and vulnerable to hacking attempts, which threatens the integrity of the upcoming November election. Steve Marshall, John Merrill, and the members of the electronic voting committee were provided a video of an electronic voting machine counting counterfeit ballots. It was irrefutable that the machines were not functioning properly and there has been no concern shown from any of these elected officials. “Plaintiffs presented the world’s top cyber security experts who testified that Alabama’s electronic voting systems are NOT secure.” The plaintiffs will now turn to the appellant court and go from there.
Sheriff’s, thank you for being in our communities. Sheriff Joshua Mclaughlin of Limestone County. Sheriff Kevin Turner of Madison County. Sheriff Kyle Helton of Giles County. And Sheriff Rick Singleton of Lauderdale County.