I support and publicly thank interim Aiken County Sheriff Jody Rowland for giving me a start in the criminal justice field, which I love.
I first met Mr. Rowland in graduate school at the University of South Carolina, where I was recruited to work at the Aiken County Sheriff's Office. I began as a deputy patrolman, then a school resource officer, and finally as an investigator.
I followed my dreams of teaching law enforcement, and I am currently the department head of Criminal Justice at Bladen Community College in North Carolina.
It was obvious to me right away that Aiken County had metropolitan problems with rural resources. I was intrigued by the motivation of Mr. Rowland and his deputies to combat incredibly complex cases daily, such as sexual assaults involving children and elder abuse.
I also observed Mr. Rowland's commitment to the public schools. He instituted the School Resource Officer program in which every high school and middle school in the sheriff's jurisdiction received a permanent officer.
It is imperative that our modern police administrators have both experience and a formal education. Education is essential not only for the obvious reasons, but also for networking, resources and recruiting. It is my perception that public safety in Aiken County is at a pivotal juncture. Continuity of service and a progressive path forward is critical to Aiken County, particularly post-Sept. 11. ...
There is only one truly qualified choice: Jody Rowland...
Michael Bush, Elizabethtown, N.C.
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