Fouquette: How do I fairly navigate the Sheriff’s Guild endorsement?

I recently read the endorsement from the sheriff’s guild and am trying to determine the importance of the letter on both sides. It’s very clear the letter was specifically written to show the support for Sheriff Krebs and the lack of support for Sheriff’s Deputy Jeff Asher.

What worries me is everything surrounding the letter and what the letter doesn’t say. Deputy Asher was a whistle blower that has reported retaliation within the department (as shown in Asher’s letters to Gaylord). Most of the letters from previous employees in the department are critical of the department under Krebs. There are numerous community concerns - from increased drug issues, improper vetting of employees, improperly investigated domestic violence welfare checks, excessive Facebook usage, and, among other things, overall improper treatment of women, especially victims of sexual assault.

When we review the Guild Endorsement, we are not just looking at employees that support Krebs because they feel he’s the best. We are also looking at:

Deputies who may have cleared an inferior background check in this county and worry that upon review they will be brought under scrutiny (may not be able to get a job elsewhere) Deputies who may have participated in retaliatory behaviors upon Asher’s whistle blowing and are concerned about their jobs if new leadership enters Deputies who have witnessed the treatment of Asher and former employees that are scared to put a target on their own back by voting against Krebs.

I am pro law enforcement. I think it’s amazing to have people in the world willing to risk their lives for the people in their community. I understand it is a difficult job and a lot of people don’t really understand the process of law. Furthermore, it is difficult in a small community to not be protective of deputies you know on a personal level, but it shouldn’t make them immune to oversight.

Everyone should be asking questions about Sheriff Krebs lying to the council and why the background investigation on Parker wasn’t completed to basic nationwide standards, among other things.

Everyone should be interested why Deputy Asher has had to send representatives to different debates/speaking events - is it because he is being refused the time-off requests. If so, why are we allowing the supervisors (department leaders) to manipulate the community’s ability to make an informed decision. That behavior is unethical and, if the command structure allows that type of manipulation when trying to protect the status quo, how will we ever know if they do the same behind closed doors with defendants?

Some of these deputies have a lot to lose if the leadership changes. Let’s face it, changing the Sheriff could mean disciplinary action for deputies, dispatchers, or corrections deputies. Losing a job here isn’t like on the mainland - you can’t just lateral to a neighboring department and keep your family in the same house and kids in the same school district. It means a move off-island, and that is scary. The unknown is scary for these deputies and their families, and they are defending the status quo with full force because it protects them.

Are the members of the Sheriff’s Guild able to separate what’s best for them from what’s best for the community? Can a department where there has been any type of credibility related indiscretions really remain impartial? I don’t believe so.


Jenny Fouquette

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