I firmly believe that having a sheriff’s office that is up to speed with standard training and technology is a huge priority. This is because an office that has an under-trained staff under performs. It also puts the lives of the deputies and the public at risk. As it presently stands, the deputies at the Orange County Sheriff’s Office do not have adequate training. There may be individuals who are more trained than others, but as a group they must have more and better training all-around. I worked for the Orange County Sheriff’s Office and I now work for Carrboro Police Department, and let me say that the difference is night and day.
Training also enables deputies to better respond to diverse situations, such as those involving people with mental disabilities, physical disabilities, and where culture or language may be a barrier. It is also imperative that deputies who respond to victims of sexual assault or domestic violence have up-to-date training concerning how to respond with diligence and compassion in a very traumatic situation.
Regarding technology, I can say that it is changing and growing every day. Think about how much phones have changed in the last five or so years. Technology and techniques used in law enforcement have changed just as much if not more. Having been continuously employed to date (I still work for Carrboro and love it!), I have seen and used the kind of technologies needed to modernize the Sheriff’s Office. Also, modernizing and making better use of things such as the sheriff's office website to provide better, faster access to information facilitates transparency in ways we do not presently have, but certainly need.
Alongside better community outreach and increased diversity in the workplace, I think these are the major issues facing the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, as well as the citizens it serves.