Letter: Sheriff hopeful deserves to be on ballot

May 30, 2014 

Give her husband a chance

Recently, someone told my husband, Jim Davenport, that he was offended that Jim was even considering running for sheriff. I found this to be an incredible statement, one that reminded me of an insolent colonist being chastised for questioning the king.

Most people reading this will immediately say, “She’s his wife; of course, she thinks he should be on the ballot.” And you’re right; Jim should be on the ballot.

Why should he be on the ballot to run as sheriff against Steve Bizzell? I’ll start with the obvious: Jim has been in some form of law enforcement since he enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1974. That’s a lot of years of experience that the county can certainly benefit from.

Jim has never been the type of person who stays stagnant in his profession. He has always sought out training – whether it be in a classroom, in the field or from a book. With his years of experience, Jim has never been afraid to share his knowledge. He feels no one should be afraid to share knowledge as a benefit to others.

Jim also recognizes that the most-successful people seek to learn more by seeking out people who are more successful or knowledgable. As sheriff, Jim would not be afraid to hire deputies and other staff who are more knowledgable than him. Leaders are not afraid to surround themselves with the best, and this belief can only be a benefit to Johnston County.

Jim truly cares about people, and he has always demonstrated that throughout his career. He has a servant’s heart, and his primary focus in law enforcement has always been about public safety. Every idea he has and has shared on his Facebook page and in public is rooted in keeping people safe. We have school-aged grandchildren, and he would never want anything horrible to happen at their schools. But should the worst happen, he wants deputies to be trained to respond to save lives. Jim also understands that a good sheriff’s department has to be proactive all of the time and reactive when necessary. This means the department needs to work with the community to increase safety in schools, on the roads and in the community.

Lastly, Jim is the kind of person a community would want to have as a sheriff. He is the ultimate professional who respects the badge and the uniform.

He is tenacious, dedicated and loyal. He cares about the safety of his brothers and sisters in uniform and wants to them to return home to their loved ones at the end of each shift. This means all deputies have to be the best trained deputies and feel safe and secure in their jobs and trust that they will be supported.

When I had the opportunity to return to my home in Johnston County, I was excited that Jim was coming with me. He had heard me talk endlessly about the wonderful people in Johnston County – people who are so warm and friendly. He knew all about my family and all of the wonderful memories that I have of spending time on my Granny and Grandaddy’s farm. But most of all, I assured him he would be welcome and fit right in. I would have to say some people have been less than welcoming, and this has been very frustrating to both of us.

Jim is a straightforward and blunt person who says what is on his mind. He does not always finesse what he says, and I understand that this can rub people the wrong way. That’s the Marine and many years on the street in him. But he is genuine in his character, and you will always know where you stand with him. As they say in the Marine Corps, “no better friend, no worse enemy.” Jim will be a friend to all of the citizens if elected sheriff. But I can assure you he will be relentless in pursuing crime in Johnston County.

Change is hard. But all that I ask is that the people of Johnston County give Jim a chance to explain his platform and then decide who is best for the county. Sign his petition if you see him so that he can be on the ballot. Johnston County deserves to have the best sheriff, and I believe Jim is the best choice.

Grey Cockrell Davenport


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