Candidates for Montgomery County Sheriff were asked the following questions by The Washington Post:
Role: Should the role of the sheriff's department be expanded?
Management: How can fiscal management of the department be improved?
Tony Fisher (D), 32, of 13303 Dove St., Silver Spring, has been a Montgomery County police officer for 11 years, now serving as a detective in the investigative services bureau. He is chairman of the National Black Police Association.
Role: Yes, and this can be done without increasing the present cost of running the department. There are certain jobs now being performed by the Police Department that could be taken over by the sheriff's office and allow police to give more attention to direct law enforcement responsibility. For instance, police now guard hospitalized prisoners and transport mentally ill people after 4 p.m. and weekends. These responsibilities could be assumed by the sheriff's department by a more efficient use of present deputies without additional staffing. Also, the sheriff's department is responsible for the security of the courthouse, jurors, witnesses, etc., yet none of the 70 deputies have been given any special security training. Federal agencies and the Montgomery County Police Academy, which has an outstanding crime prevention-security program, could provide this training service free, and the deputies could conduct classes for courthouse employees.
Management: There is a very crude fiscal management system now in operation, which resulted in the county's discovery that sheriff's fees were not being put in a bank to accrue interest, resulting in a $35,000 loss to the county. I would establish an integrated budget process, in line with recommendations made by the county's Office of Management and Budget, which was highly critical of the present system. Fiscal responsibility also ties in to how well a department manages its personnel, and I would use a modified management by objective (MBO) model, which evaluates a staff person's performance according to a desired performance level. Managers in the department would be held strictly accountable for achievement of targeted performance levels. This approach to management has proven to be an efficient resource utilization. Collection of fees and other monies by the sheriff's department should be examined and a semiautomated alternative considered to replace the existing manual system.
James A. Young (D), (Incumbent) 58, of 9000 Gue Rd., Damascus, has been sheriff of Montgomery County since 1976. Previously, he had been a deputy sheriff and a supervisor since 1962. He has been active in professional and community organizations.
Role: The duties of this office are prescribed by law and requirements of the courts. The traditional duties of the office have been increasing steadily, as far as workload, for a number of years. It is anticiapted that this trend will continue.
Management: The office utilizes an internal series of evaluation techniques to ensure that resources are being deployed in the most cost effective manner. Performance evaluation standards and measures are currently used and will continually be monitored and updated to ensure resources are expended in the most efficient manner.