Sheriff Whidden announces candidacy

As you know, election year is here once again, and with your support, I intend to seek re-election. It has been my utmost honor and pleasure to serve as your Sheriff for the past seven years.

As your Sheriff, I have to run on my record which I am extremely proud of.

Due to the economy, I have been forced to find “outside of the box” methods to keep the budget at a minimum. In my first term, I absorbed approximately 3 million dollars in federal and state mandates as well as cost increases outside my control.

Sheriff Steve Whidden

Sheriff Steve Whidden

I reduced the administration and reallocated those positions to the road, adding deputies to our streets. Now our outlying communities such as Montura, Pioneer and Felda have law enforcement coverage.

I have heavily targeted illegal narcotics activity in our county by increasing the manpower in our narcotics unit and by adding a 4-man K9 highway interdiction team. By doing so, our narcotics arrests have doubled.

Our deputy self initiated calls for service have over doubled since taking office. This means that our deputies are being proactive instead of reactive. We no longer wait for crime to happen; we’re stopping it before it does.

Three years ago, with the assistance and cooperation of the County Commissioners and the School Board, and with the use of grants, I was able to place a School Resource Officer in every Hendry County School, adding guidance and an extra level of protection for our children.

Last year, the Hendry County Sheriff’s Office, for the first time in agency history, received its first Reaccreditation status, making your Sheriff’s Office as professional as any in the state.

Last but probably the most important, our crime rate is down.

I am extremely proud of our community and I have always strived in being part of and giving back to our community. I am also proud to say that we have not only brought stability back to the Hendry County Sheriff’s Office, we have built a relationship between Law Enforcement and the people we serve, which is vitally important to its continued progression.

As you can see we have accomplished a great deal, especially in this economy. I’m excited to think how far we can take your Sheriff’s Office if re-elected for a third term.

Thank you,
Steve Whidden
Hendry County Sheriff

The Caloosa Belle is published every Thursday.

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