Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Breaking News

Letters

December 31, 2013

Dec. 31, 2013: Letters to the editor

We’ll miss sheriffs when they’re gone

Sheriffs, please know, are different from the tawdry mix of ambition and vanity that makes up local officialdom.

Sheriffs are precursors of our constitutional republic and its attendant democracy. They arose in first-century Anglo-Saxon England or even with the Norse, the natural, chosen leaders of their communities (shires), their title dating back to Alfred the Great.

Sheriffs in this Alfredian mold spoke truth to power. They kept local order, but more important to this discussion they represented to the king the legitimate interests and concerns of common folk — primarily regarding the protection of property and individual liberty, both unique to Western civilization.

The character built into the office was wisely carried over to the legal codes of colonial American government and eventually to our constitutional republic.

Today, not so much. Sheriffs in our metropolitan counties appear most concerned with protecting a system of double-dip pensioning. A friend, retired from law enforcement here, remembers observing one of the state’s first Special Weapons and Tactics teams go through its drills.

His thought at the time was that he might have seen the last of the traditional Indiana sheriffs. Future deputies, he realized, would be indistinguishable from policemen, restaurant inspectors, meter readers and other hired muscle for the city, county and state.

The sheriff still stands strong in rural America. A recent quote from a Colorado sheriff protesting his state’s new gun laws is representative: “In my oath it says I’ll uphold the U.S. Constitution and the constitution of the state of Colorado. It doesn’t say I have to uphold every law passed by the Legislature.”

Clearly, the sheriff can be a bane to central authority — again, it is historically built into the job. County councils and managers, therefore, are slowly tightening a fiscal noose around the office, reducing it to something resembling an armed postmaster. And it is no accident that legislatures long ago forced sheriffs into term limits.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Letters
  • Letters to the Editor: April 16, 2014

    At the time the agenda for the April 7 commissioner meeting came out, I was happy to see that the neglected commissioner board appointments were finally going to be addressed. These appointments had been in limbo for months on end.

    April 16, 2014

  • Letters to the Editor: April 15, 2014

    In a recent “public eye” article written by KT columnist Scott Smith about the proposed industrial wind turbine project; mention was made of the “new deal” brokered by Howard County Commissioners with E.ON.

    April 15, 2014

  • April 14, 2014: Letters to the editor Watch for bicyclists on roadways, drivers When you ride a bike near a semi, there are at least four blind spots where the driver can't see you. We need to be careful when we ride near trucks. If we get hit by a semi, it's usually our fault. But we ne

    April 14, 2014

  • April 13, 2014: Letters to the editor Grade your elected officials, vote May 6 After attending the Tipton County BOC meeting on April 7, I felt compelled to share a few thoughts. I have tried to keep from attacking our local elected officials as much as possible and, instead, attack the

    April 13, 2014

  • April 11, 2014: Letters to the editor Eastern Howard Co. opposes wind farm The majority of people who live in eastern Howard County, including the entire Winger family, do not want wind turbines obstructing our view! We originally signed up with Horizon, thinking it was a win/win proposi

    April 11, 2014

  • April 10, 2014: Letters to the editor 'We have turned our backs on God' In light of the Fort Hood shooting this past week, why are we surprised when Spc. Lopez goes on a shooting rampage? We are quick to blame it all on guns and mental illness, but in reality, there is a deeper cause tha

    April 10, 2014

  • April 9, 2014: Letters to the editor Is America for sale? High court thinks so Today as I watched the news, I became more and more angry over the things that are happening in our judicial system and politics. I am a proud American, born and raised in the heartland. I was raised to belie

    April 9, 2014

  • April 8, 2014: Letters to the editor E-cigarettes pose risk to kids, adults I was very pleased to see the article "Safer cigarette?" that was published April 1. I was particularly happy to see the research quoted in the article bore out what I have already observed in our own community:

    April 8, 2014

  • April 7, 2014: Letters to the editor Water hike will drive away town residents With the recent passage of another water rate increase will come more foreclosures and hardships for the residents of Bunker Hill. Our claim to fame in the past was already our outrageous utilities. While I a

    April 7, 2014

  • April 4, 2014: Letters to the editor Immoral behavior can produce poverty In his letter expressing concern about children in poverty, a letter writer "wonders" how Jesus would respond. That is easy, because Jesus tells us. He tells his followers to respond with compassion. Christ instru

    April 4, 2014

Latest news
Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Obituaries
Poll
Kelly Lafferty's video on Tom Miller