For Immediate Release: Charleston Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #88
February 26, 2018
The Charleston Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #88 Endorses Steve Spear for Coles County Sheriff
In terms of policing, Charleston has it pretty good. In one City we have our municipal Charleston Police Department, the University’s own Police Department, and – as county seat – the Coles County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO). As employees of the Charleston Police Department, one of the greatest benefits to having these police agencies in our City is knowing that we can count on the competent Patrolmen and Correctional Officers of Coles County to back us up in cases of emergency.
And we rely on them.
Often in Charleston, calls come in at simultaneous times and it requires that we reach out and call for our brothers and sisters of the CCSO. We cannot do that if County’s Patrol Division is understaffed. One of the larger campaign points of Steve Spear is that the current administration is not doing what’s required to ensure that personnel is appropriately staffed. As of this writing, it is most common for only two officers to cover the entire county… Two. Total. Officers.
This lack of manpower has led to poor morale, which has led to a high turnover. Lack of personnel has an affect in the Courthouse, as well, where our officers experience significant delays at trials due to the inability to transport defendants from the jail on time. And it’s apparent that the rest of the courtroom isn’t happy about that service either.
In Steve Spear, the Charleston F.O.P. sees a consistent history of leadership experience. As a Marine he held Squad and Platoon leadership positions. As a Coles County employee, he has worked as a Shift Supervisor in the jail, as a long-time Patrol Sergeant and as top commander for the multi-jurisdictional Crisis Response Team (our SWAT team).
Finally, we note that only one of the candidates has an endorsement from the CCSO Lodge of the Fraternal Order of Police: that is Steve Spear. With a leader in place who has that backing of his own staff, the Office of Sheriff has the greatest potential to rebuild its manpower, focus on training existing officers instead of a revolving door of short-lived new hires, and do what it’s meant to do: community policing.
For those reasons the Charleston Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #88 endorses Steve Spear for Coles County Sheriff.
The views expressed do not represent the views of the City of Charleston.