Before they cast ballots in the May 6 primary, Franklin County Republicans have three sheriff contenders to consider.
If elected, what key issues would they like to tackle? Incumbent Sheriff Kenneth Murphy vows to continue and expand two programs he began, the Franklin County Drug Task Force and school resource officer. He reflects, “We recognize that the individuals involved in drugs are also responsible for a large number of other crimes that they commit in order to support their habit .... I have consistently encouraged the deputies to recognize that we are a team and that, as a small department, we must develop a collaborative mindset by working with all law enforcement agencies and other resources to provide the best service possible to the citizens.”
Another issue affecting the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department is the county’s budget crisis. Compounding that “are the changes in sentencing offenders that were adopted by the Indiana General Assembly ... We will undoubtedly be dealing with an increase in our inmate population. This is a ‘fund shift’ from the state correctional facilities to the county jails in Indiana at a time when we can least afford it,” Murphy points out.
Barry Bischoff discusses three issues. “As sheriff, I would make sure that the citizens ... are protected and have a deputy on duty 24 hours a day. The past several months, the sheriff has been having the deputies take emergency calls from their residences after a certain time at night with no one out patrolling the county or on duty. I would like to bring back the drug task force meetings and get more officers involved from different agencies to tackle the drug epidemic ... I would like to make the jail commander’s position a civilian position and put the budgeted deputy back on the road where he is needed.”