Candidate Q&A – Kyle Keith Jones, candidate for DeKalb County Sheriff
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About this series:
Decaturish sent questions to candidates running for DeKalb County Sheriff. The election is March 24, which also coincides with the state’s presidential preference primary. We will publish the candidates’ responses throughout the week. For more information about voting in the upcoming election, please see the note at the end of this post. For all of our 2020 election coverage, visit Decaturishvotes.com.
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1) Why are you running for this position?
I am running because I love DeKalb County, I am deeply committed to the philosophy of community policing and corrections, wherein officers and citizens work together to identify and seek long-term solutions to problems relating to crime, fear of crime, neighborhood decay, and quality of life. If elected, Kyle’s primary goals will be:
– To combat Corruption and Cronyism in the DeKalb County Sheriff’s office
– To advance the principles of democracy and restore trust back in law enforcement officials
– To place the highest value on the preservation of human life
– The prevention of crime and the reduction of the current recidivism rate
– To involve the community and community resources in the delivery of its services
– To train law enforcement staff and hold them accountable to professionalism and integrity
2) What makes you a better candidate than your opponents?
Bachelor Degree in Criminal Justice, 24 plus years of Law Enforcement experience with DeKalb County. Holding every rank from Police Officer, Detective, Special Investigator, Police Sergeant, Commander of the Police Department Fraud and Financial Crimes Unit, Supervisor of the Police Department Internal Affairs Unit, Commander of MARTA Police Internal Affairs and Public Information Officer, Deputy Sheriff Sergeant, and Deputy Sheriff Lieutenant Administrative Aide to the Sheriff, Public Information Officer and Morning Watch Asst. Jail Commander. Employee Union Representative for the Federation of Public Service (FPSE) and AFCME Georgia Local 1644, AFL-CIO, I am also the Chairman for the DeKalb County Citizen review board.
3) If elected, what will be your top two or three priorities?
Break the former Sheriff’s stronghold on the Sheriff Office Budget, Bonding Process and Operation
To stabilize the Agency by conducting a forensic audit, identify and prosecute individuals involved in corruption and corrupt practices, restore the Citizens trust back into the Agency, Bail reform by ending the monopoly the current Bonding Companies have on the bonding process, addressing the staffing issues and inmates conditions in the Jail, screening of Mental Health and patients with drug addictions in the Jail so they receive treatment and not incarceration, implement an aggressive training program to cross-train all Deputies and Detention Officers, improve Courthouse security and work with the Police Departments in Dekalb to develop a joint comprehensive plan to reduce crime.
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4) The DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office has a reputation of being a corrupt institution. Do you think this reputation is deserved and, if so, what would you do to change it?
The reputation of corruption and cronyism is very well earned and deserved at the present time more so than ever. The process in which the Interim Sheriff was appointed and by whom she was appointed by is all a ploy to continue hiding it from the Public. You have a former Sheriff’ lobbying vendors and Bonding companies that do business with the Sheriff Office to donate and support the Interim Sheriff. Some of the same companies he is receiving lucrative consultant fee’s from. The Bonding companies have a monopoly on the Bonding process in DeKalb County and this has been made possible by the pass and current Interim Sheriff. No bid contracts believe being award without a thorough vetting process. This is only the surface
5) As sheriff, what will be your policy regarding cooperation with Immigrations and Customs Enforcement?
We will only assist Immigration with detaining individuals that have felony charges in DeKalb County.
6) As sheriff, what will be your policy on housing transgender inmates?
For the safety of the individual, we will offer housing to them separate from the general population. It is a policy already in place at the Sheriff’s Office.
7) Within the last year, local activists have raised concerns about the treatment of people held within the county jail. Do you feel inmates in the jail are being mistreated? If so, what would you do to change it?
I have had first-hand information that inmates were being mistreated in the DeKalb County Jail and that it was being covered up on the highest levels of the agency. Based on my former Internal and criminal investigative experience the Sheriff at the time did not handle the situation correctly. Apparently the FBI agreed with my assessment because they later indicted and convicted the supervisors. The mistreatment of inmates or the staff will not be tolerated under my leadership.
8) Prior to his retirement, Sheriff Jeffrey Mann was facing the possibility of having his certifications revoked due to an arrest in Atlanta in 2017 for exposing himself in a public park. Do you agree with his decision to remain on the job instead of resigning following his arrest and guilty plea?
I do not agree with him not stepping down and using the appeal process to delay his departure for two years in order to receive a pension from the State of Georgia. That is why I do not agree with him being able to appoint the Interim Sheriff. In the Law Enforcement community, we call this, “Poison Fruit From A Poison Tree!”
9) As sheriff, what will you do to help rehabilitate inmates in the county jail?
I want us my relationships with the Employee Union Representative for the Federation of Public Service (FPSE) and AFCME Georgia Local 1644, AFL-CIO, Faith-based organization, Civic organization, the schools and the business communities to help them. I want to be able to use these organizations to create apprenticeship programs and jobs. This will help reduce the crime rate in our County and enrich our citizens.
10) This question comes from a reader: The Georgia Department of Corrections recently made a policy change to provide free and unrestricted access to feminine hygiene products to women in state facilities. This does not apply to county facilities. Will the Sheriff ensure this policy is also implemented and upheld at the DeKalb County jail?
Yes! The should already be being done.
11) Another question from a reader: It currently costs $2.70 for a 15-minute call for those in the county jail. Will the Sheriff continue allowing private to charge such high rates for family communication?
This is another contract where the vendor was picked be the Sheriff without taking the Citizens into consideration. I can assure you this will be addressed and corrected.
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12) What will be your family visitation policy for inmates?
Once I stabilize the agency and get the Jail adequately staffed, I would like to have visitation more frequently for the inmates then what it is now, only on certain days for inmates. I would like for mothers, fathers, wives, husbands, children and clergy can visit 24 hours for certain situations.
13) What will be your approach to mental healthcare at the county jail?
Since Georgia cut the budget on mental health our jails have become the holding faculties for people with this illness. I am currently working with several local Behavioral Health, Drug and Alcohol treatment programs. Dr. Tiffany Lee, the owner of Greenlee Behavioral Health Center is my Campaign Committee Chair. She was on the cover of People’s magazine in 2019. It is my plan to have all inmates psychologically evaluated and screened for Mental Illness upon entering the jail. My reason is to make sure they are properly classified and do not end up in the general population, so a bad situation does not turn worst. I want to make sure they receive their medication for those that are on medication. I want to determine if they are regularly attending a local treatment program, so we can get them into one. Most importantly I want to make sure they receive treatment and not incarceration. For the individual that is participating in local treatment programs if they get arrested for misdemeanors of a non-violent crime, they will be released to their counselor or a designated employee of the center and or family member after the program has been notified on a signature bond, they will receive a copy of their charges and a court date to appear before the Judge that presides over Mental Health Court. The inmates that are arrested for felonies will be properly classified and depending on the nature of that Felony we will work with the Courts to get them released and into local Behavioral health treatment center. I also plan to partner with several local Behavioral Health and Drug treatment programs to coordinate service for the released inmates and the ones that have remained in the County’s custody.
14) If elected, do you promise to conduct yourself in an ethical and transparent manner?
Yes, I do! I vow to represent my family and the citizens of DeKalb County with honor, integrity, transparency, and ethically. I vow to eliminate the corruption and cronyism. NO FORMER SHERIFF WILL BE ABLE TO INFLUENCE POLICY, CONTRACTS OR RECEIVE ANY TYPE OF PAYMENT FROM THEM IN ANY FORM! I am going to restore trust and integrity back into the Sheriff Office and remove the black cloud the Jeffrey Mann has leftover!
More information about voting in the March 24 election:
The voter registration deadline for the March 24 presidential primary is Feb. 24.
You can look up your status by visiting the Georgia Secretary of State’s “My Voter Page.” To visit the My Voter Page, click here. You can check your status by providing basic information like your last name, birthday and the county you live in. You can also see a sample ballot.
If you find you are not registered, there are a few ways you can get back on the voter rolls.
You can register online with the Secretary of State’s Office by clicking here.
According to the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office, in order to register to vote you must:
– Be a citizen of the United States
– Be a legal resident of the county where you are voting
– Be at least 17 1/2 years of age to register and 18 years of age to vote
– Not be serving a sentence for conviction of a felony involving moral turpitude
– Have not been found mentally incompetent by a judge
For more information about how to register, click here.
People who wish to vote will need to bring one of the following forms of identification, according to the Georgia Secretary of State’s office:
– Any valid state or federal government-issued photo ID, including a free ID Card issued by your county registrar’s office or the Georgia Department of Driver Services (DDS)
– A Georgia Driver’s License, even if expired
– Valid employee photo ID from any branch, department, agency, or entity of the U.S. Government, Georgia, or any county, municipality, board, authority or other entity of this state
– Valid U.S. passport ID
– Valid U.S. military photo ID
– Valid tribal photo ID
The county board of registrar’s office is located at 4380 Memorial Drive Suite, 300, Decatur, GA 30032.
Early voting will begin on March 2. Here is a list of advanced voting dates and times from the county Board of Registration and Elections:
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