Letter to the editor: The reality of police union endorsements


Everyone most likely has seen the Fortney For Sheriff signs with all the local police union endorsements. What is notable is that only nine of the 15 county police agencies endorsed. Why not the other six? Only four of nine interviewed Susanna Johnson. I doubt if any met with Mr. Fortney.

What voters should know is how the endorsements are obtained. I speak from experience as a retired (26-year) deputy and eight years as the Deputy Sheriff Association President (DSA). Police unions are like a fraternal group in that they tend to stick together. After the DSA made their endorsement, the other police unions followed suit and in a couple cases did so before the DSA endorsed. So how then did Mr. Fortney secure the DSA endorsement? The DSA bylaws were so ambiguous they were interpreted to say that the incumbent automatically gets the endorsement unless he/she does something so outrageous to warrant taking it away. In past years when I was president, both candidates’ names would have been placed on a secret ballot and sent to each DSA member for their vote. This was not done in this race and her name was never on the ballot so the members could have a choice.

To those who think because a candidate has all these police union endorsements they deserve your vote, take the time to look at their experience, education, vision and decide based upon your own without basing it on what some police unions have said.

Ken Crowder, retired deputy
Past president, DSA

  1. Thank you. As a proponent of local union representation, I expected Union leadership to represent the rank and file. This sounds as if the “big bosses” who manage the union are acting like their “management” counterparts. Maybe they don’t really know or represent their own constituents.

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