Public record vs. public safety


Recently, Jefferson County Sheriff Dave Stanko provided a work schedule of his county deputies to a citizen who was concerned about coverage in his area.

The rotation schedule showed which deputy was working in each area of the county.

That didn’t go over too well.

Of the 18 deputies represented on the schedule, nine of their family members signed a letter stating the action caused public concern for their own safety, endangering themselves and their families. These members believe criminals now know when and where their husbands are to commit crimes.

In interviewing Stanko for the story (see page A3), he confirmed he released the information and did so because the information is public record, which means the citizen was entitled to it.

He further explained each deputy assigned to areas of Jefferson County provide their information to that community so the deputies can be reached if there are any concerns needing to be addressed. He noted all deputies are given a vehicle which is also taken home when not on shift.

Technology and tools like social media there are ways to find out where someone is, where they are going or where they have been.

When a person willingly works in a public position, they are subject to this information being given out to the community.

Taxpayers have the right to check to make sure city, county, state or federal employees are actually working, when they are working and to question whether the service they are required to provide is being produced.

The sheriff received a request from the public to make sure there was adequate coverage under the rights of public record, and we applaud him for doing that.

We sympathize with the spouses and are happy to see their concern for their neighbors as well.

But, law enforcement personnel are employees that work for the public and citizens have the right to know their employees are adequately doing their job.


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