CORBIN — CLARIFICATION - published April 23, 2014 - The letter to the editor that appeared on Page 4 of the Wednesday, April 16, 2014, edition of the Times-Tribune was written by Linda Lee Adkins, of Corbin, who is not Linda Lee, of Corbin, who owns Country Curl Beauty Salon located along U.S. 25W (Cumberland Falls Highway).
I have been listening to Whitley County Sheriff Colan Harrell lecturing on the radio lately. He is advertising what an excellent sheriff he has been. He states that he has made more than 12,000 calls in three years and has made many arrests.
I read the local paper — if we compare the performance of Sheriff Harrell with that of Laurel County Sheriff John Root, Harrell comes out looking as weak as water.
Sheriff Root has arrested many more criminals, and I have yet to see him posing with inmates for each photo opportunity that comes by. Sheriff Root has set up community meetings at fire departments throughout Laurel County where he explained to citizens that if they reported suspicions of drug dealers or other criminal activities in their neighborhoods, it would be investigated. I think this procedure has worked very effectively.
I’ve never heard Sheriff Root complain about lack of funding or pose with suspects for a photo op.
On the other side of the coin, I’ve also never heard of the Whitley County Sheriff’s Department arresting any major drug dealer.
Sheriff Harrell complained and begged for more funding for his budget during his first two years in office. He was given guns and weapons for his deputies, flashlights, and vehicles, but yet continued to complain about former Sheriff Lawrence Hodge.
There is no doubt that Sheriff Hodge did some bad things — but he was in jail during this time, and was not receiving any of Sheriff Harrell’s budget. Sheriff Harrell was receiving that budget, yet continued to beg for more.
For a long while, it was thought that Sheriff Harrell was working undercover — as he was always seen wearing civilian clothing. But now, after seeing the way he grabs up prisoners to pose with at any given opportunity, I am convinced that Sheriff Harrell may be looking to land a Hollywood contract with his performance.
I feel that a county sheriff on duty should be dressed in uniform. This is not only professional, but it allows the public to recognize that law enforcement is present.
I do not know whether or not any of Sheriff Harrell’s deputies have received academy training, but any sheriff’s department can only be as good as its management.
A person could attend the best police academy, fully understand the law and its procedures but, when it comes right down to it, disposition, judgment, and respect for life are what make the difference between good law enforcement and a trigger-happy individual behind a badge.
I understand that we cannot get Sheriff Root here in Whitley County, but I am also sure that we MUST have someone running for office in Whitley County who would make a much better sheriff than Harrell has been.
I urge the citizens of Whitley County not to listen to Harrell’s rhetoric and to vote for a better sheriff — one who will stay vigilant in the job and see no person as off-limits to arrest if necessary.
Linda Lee Adkins,