‘He ain’t from around here’ doesn’t factor in

Jon VanGesenCops are the same wherever you go in the world. How do I know this? I was a deputy sheriff for 33 years. I have trained extensively with law enforcement from all over the world, including military and special operations folks. Not one single time in all those years did “You ain’t from around here” ever factor into whether a person could do a job or not.

What always and every time factored in was experience. One of the Sheriff’s candidates spoke about this very concept. He related that when he was the new guy in the Marine Corps he wasn’t even allowed to sit in a chair! Not until he learned his job and had the right level of experience. I believe this. Cops always choose the guy with the most experience to teach or supervise different units within law enforcement.

\“He ain’t from around here” isn’t a factor and should not be. I have listened to the three candidates speak several times.

I have yet to hear any of them personally say, “He ain’t from around here.” Why? Because they themselves know it doesn’t matter. There is no substitution for the right kind of experience. Cops everywhere, working or retired, know this without fail.

Cops are professionals, it’s black and white. Their job is to enforce a set of laws handed down from the United States Constitution and the State of Idaho. Lady Justice wears a blindfold for a reason. The blindfold represents impartiality, the ideal that justice should be applied without regard to wealth, power, or identity. It is this very cherished concept that mandates cops who “ain’t from around here” to do their job. In other words, no matter where you’re from, a big city or a small town, from another state or from Idaho, enforcing the law is done the same.

When you remove all the personal bias there is only one candidate with the right kind of experience qualified to be the Sheriff of Boundary County. That candidate is Jon VanGesen. It’s that simple.

Steven Wilkinson