Candidate Q&A – Ted Golden, 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 have a keen sense of duty to protect and to serve after spending more than half my life as a law enforcement officer. I have lived in DeKalb County for 30 years. I am a successful father and husband. I have continuously stayed engaged in community activities since residing in DeKalb County and I have continued my commitment since my retirement from DEA. It is my desire to mold the sheriff’s office into a fully functional and trusted law enforcement agency that the residents of DeKalb County will appreciate.
2) What makes you a better candidate than your opponents?
I am a highly motivated, proactive exceptionally personable experienced federal law enforcement officer with a keen sense of awareness and a sincere involvement in community activities. Possessing a wealth of knowledge and experience in managing criminal investigations, information systems, law enforcement oriented resources and services in collaboration with state, local and federal agencies.
3) If elected, what will be your top two or three priorities?
Citizen Safety Initiative
- Focus on Senior Citizen Abuse
- Gang Violence
- Sex Trafficking
- Home Invasions
- Develop and implement a senior citizen wellness program
- Create a mobile computer lab to support computer-based educational enrichment for students
- Create a Community Advisory Council comprised of citizens, clergy, businesses, civic and social service representatives
- Create a Youth Advisory Council comprised of youth and young adults
- Create and Employee Advisory Council comprised of employees from the subsections of the Sheriff’s Office
Recruitment, Retention and Training
- Cross Training for all current deputies and detention officers
- Full 26 week POST Certification for all newly hired deputies and detention officers
- Educational incentives in exchange for extended service commitment
- Restructure the current retention and recruitment plan to address manpower deficiencies
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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?
We will initiate an Operational Review of the sheriff’s office by enlisting the services of a Law Enforcement Compliance Panel to conduct a thorough examination of all operations. The panel will submit a report with recommendations for corrective action. We will share the results of the Operational Review and report along with a plan of action to the citizens of DeKalb.
5) As sheriff, what will be your policy regarding cooperation with Immigrations and Customs Enforcement?
The citizens of DeKalb have not expressed an interest in the deportation of suspected immigrants living law-abiding lives. The Immigration and Nationality Act Commonly referred to as 287 (g) has proven to be somewhat controversial and disruptive. As the Sheriff of DeKalb County I would prefer not to burden the taxpaying citizens with this issue as we have far more important challenges in DeKalb County.
6) As sheriff, what will be your policy on housing transgender inmates?
Transgender inmates will be placed in segregated housing.
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?
We are aware of several civil rights allegations of misconduct towards inmates. Following the Operational Review, we will have the exact understanding of these allegations. We will share the findings and our plan of action to address all areas of concern with the citizens of DeKalb County.
We are determined to operate the jail with integrity, accountability and transparency.
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?
It was and continues to be my opinion that Sheriff Mann should have done what was best for the citizens of DeKalb County and immediately resigned his elected position.
9) As sheriff, what will you do to help rehabilitate inmates in the county jail?
We will examine the current rehabilitative programs and again utilize the report from our panel of law enforcement professionals to develop and implement a program to address the rehabilitative needs of all inmates.
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?
I am not aware of the current policy of the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office regarding providing feminine hygiene products to women. I will assure that as the elected Sheriff of DeKalb County, we will provide free and unrestricted access to feminine hygiene products to women in the jail.
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?
Current technological changes offer a variety of alternative methods of communications that could be implemented at a much lower cost. We will examine those options and make a decision that will not create an unnecessary expense on the inmates or the taxpaying citizens of DeKalb County.
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12) What will be your family visitation policy for inmates?
We will examine the current policy and consistent with the recommendations of the Law Enforcement Panel Report and in collaboration with the Community Advisory Council and the Employee Advisory Council implement a fair family visitation policy within the guidelines of acceptable policy and procedure.
13) What will be your approach to mental healthcare at the county jail?
I will create an executive staff Medical Consultant/Mental Health position on the first day of taking office. This person will report directly to the sheriff regarding all medical needs. We will ensure that the mental and physical health needs of all inmates are addressed as expeditiously as possible.
14) If elected, do you promise to conduct yourself in an ethical and transparent manner?
When I am elected as the Sheriff of DeKalb County, I do promise to conduct myself in an ethical and transparent manner.
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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