Steve Adams for Moore County Sheriff
My goal is to make the Moore County Sheriff’s Office the finest Department in the State, with the best trained, best educated, best equipped, and best paid deputies. We will reduce crime in Moore County for the first time in decades through new leadership, effective use of current resources, and innovative new policies. We will create an environment that all staff will enjoy working and advancing their careers in. We will also make the Sheriff's Department free to the taxpayer, plus generate up to a potential $25 million in net annual income from the Sheriff’s Department, that can be used to build schools, a courthouse, or other county amenities.
- CEO of 3 of North Carolina’s Largest Corporations
- 41 Years of Private Sector Management Experience
- Tested and Proven Leadership
Doing the same thing get the same results, and the same good old boys network.
The job of Sheriff is primarily that of a manager. He manages the assets, personnel, and resources of the Sheriff Department. When you think about it, our Sheriff has very little to do with actual hands on law enforcement. A deputy’s only management experience comes through being promoted through the ranks of the department and the vast unaccountable government bureaucracy that is always feeding from the public trough. That's why we have spent hundreds of millions of dollars at the Moore County Sheriff's office, only to see crime statistics rise while eroding away our moral base. My management experience comes from the private sector, where every dollar has to be managed properly in order to survive in business. I come from a world outside of politics, where track records and accomplishments count... words don't. The question is, who do you want managing your $11 million dollar per year Moore County Sheriff's Department budget? A government bureaucrat, who has never signed the front of a paycheck, or a professional business manager who has to meet the needs of the public in order to survive in the business world?
Since I have lived in Moore County, with one exception, the Sheriff has always risen to power by being appointed by The Moore County Executive Committee. Every time the chief deputy, with no management experience, is selected to replace the outgoing Sheriff. And every time we get the same results, higher crime rates. You cannot take a novice manager and put him in a detailed management position with an $11 million budget and expect him to succeed. The best he can do is to keep in place those proven unsuccessful policies, and tweak them as time moves on. Airlines are much like the sheriff department. They're charged with keeping people safe. However, there is a reason they don't hire pilots to run airlines. It's because pilots are not managers, they are great pilots. Yet, the manager they do hire to run the airline does not know how to fly the planes he manages. He surrounds himself with great people to get the job done, and provides the leadership to make the company successful.
Over the last two years, I have received numerous letters from current and former deputies, plus many of them have come and talked to me. One constant theme that always comes up is the existence of the good old boys network within the Sheriff's Department. Many deputies have left our department, after we have spent thousands of dollars training them, because they can see no future for their careers, because they're not part of the good old boys network. This network must stop. However, it will never stop by hiring a member of the network and putting them in charge. Everyone's careers should be based on their performance, and not be based on who they know. Politics has no place in the Sheriff Department.
Drug crimes are the root cause of 90% of all crimes, but 97% of all drug crimes end in a plea deal.
Drug crimes are 90% of our problem here in Moore County, across the state and country. Unfortunately, here Moore County, not one single statistic is available on how bad the problem is in our county. You would think with the problem being as big as it is, there would be some statistics to measure our progress against the war on drugs. Instead, law enforcement, from the Attorney General to every police department in the state, are more interested in perpetuating what I call the "big lie" when it comes to crime statistics.
The SBI Annual Crime Report that promotes the deception of the real crime figures, claims that crime has declined 20% in Moore County in the last 10 years. What the report does not tell you, is that the report only covers 1.5% of all the reported crime, and that the “books are cooked.” Every time a crime is reported it’s classified as either a “Type 1” or a “Type 2” crime. “Type 1”crimes constitute only 1.5% of all the crimes committed, yet they are the only crimes that they release statistics on. There are only 8 “Type 1”crimes, which are murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny, arson and stolen vehicles. All the other 100,000+ crimes, which constitute 98.5% of all crimes, are “Type 2” crimes. 90% of all crimes are caused by drug crimes, which are a “Type 2” crime. There are no statistics available for “Type 2” crimes. So, if larcenies (a “Type 1”crime) are trending upwards, all they do is reclassify some of the cases as stolen property (a “Type 2”crime). Likewise, if burglaries (a “Type 1”crime) are too high, they reclassify some of them as breaking and entering (a “Type 2”crime). That is how they cook the books in order to falsely claim a drop in crime.
To put it in perspective as far as Moore County is concerned; there were approximately 2200 “Type 1” crimes in Moore County in 2014. The majority of those “Type 1” crimes were for burglary and larceny. On the other hand, there were over 150,000 “Type 2” crimes reported in Moore County in 2014.
The SBI crime report is generated annually by the North Carolina Department of Justice. If you look at the overall report, county by county, you'll notice that each county, on average, has a miraculous drop in crime each year of about 2%. The state as a whole, miraculously has a steady drop in overall crime (remember we are only talking about "Type 1" crimes) year after year. If this were true, we would be downsizing detention centers and prisons, not building new ones. Yet, we continue to build more and more jail cells into our detention centers, as well as more prisons and court rooms. Our Attorney General is not going to let a crime report show an increase in crime for the State of North Carolina. That would be bad for economic growth and for the Attorney General's political future. This is why the books are cooked, to ensure the outcome.
Here is the sad irony concerning “Type 1”crimes. 90% of the “Type 1”crimes are never solved, but since they miraculously dropped 2% each year, law enforcement pounds its chest and promotes the idea that crime has come down because of the “wonderful” job they are doing. To promote such nonsense as fact, gives citizens a false sense of security that does not exist, plus it is just an outright lie.
A Real Solution to the Drug Problem...Our Own Crime Lab
The root cause of 90% of all crime in America is drugs. No one in law enforcement disputes that number. Whether it's murder, robbery, or assault, 90% of the time, the motivating factor behind the crime is for the sole purpose of obtaining illegal drugs. Americans are so fixated on their next high, we've lost all perspective as to how bad the problem is. Our Sheriff Department does not have a clue how bad the problem is, or how to fix it. There is not one single statistic available to the public to even tell us how bad the drug problem is in Moore County. The taxpayers have spent over $100 million in the last 10 years, but the Sheriff Department cannot produce one statistic to measure the success or failure of its drug policy. Let's take a look at exactly how the department handles drug crimes and why current policies fail, followed by my solutions and why my policies will succeed.
Let's suppose John Doe is arrested for drug trafficking. Under our current policy, here is what will happen. John Doe will be taken to the detention center and stand before a magistrate, and a bail amount will be established. One of two things will happen. Either John Doe will be bailed out, and he is back in business for the next three years, or he will sit in a jail cell for the next three years, at a cost of $210,000 to the Moore County taxpayer, waiting for his trial date which will never take place. While John Doe is waiting for his trial date to arrive, the evidence will be sent to the Raleigh SBI crime lab, where due to an excessive backlog, the evidence will sit on the shelf for two years waiting to be analyzed. Once analyzed, a report will be sent back to the county confirming that illegal drugs were present. Then it will take at least one more year before the trial can begin because the technician who tested the drugs schedule has to work in with the district attorney schedule, defense schedule, and the court's schedule. By the time all those schedules merge another year has passed... but even then, the trial will probably never take place. By the date of the trial, there is a high probability the arresting deputy will not even be working at the Sheriff's Department (the annual turnover rate at the department is over 30%) due to low morale, low pay, and the good old boys management style, that chases good employees away. Another reason the trial will probably never take place is because witnesses needed for the trial, will have moved or disappeared since no tracking system is established to keep them engaged. At that point, the District Attorney has no choice but to strike a plea bargain deal, because the case has literally fallen apart. 97% of all drug cases end in a plea bargain deal, because of the pathetic way the sheriff department handles drug cases.
Drug busts are almost pointless when the outcome is a plea bargain 97% of the time. Defendants, as well as defense attorneys know the outcome of a drug bust before it even starts. Dealers and traffickers just look at getting caught as a part of doing business. They just sit back and wait for the plea bargain to arrive. But what if there was a way to turn all this around, and save the taxpayers millions of dollars at the same time? What if there was a way to get evidence back in two days, and get to trial within three months ,and get a 97% conviction rate, and start sending the dealers and traffickers who are poisoning our kids, family, friends, coworkers, and society with their poison to prison, and get society the justice they deserve and have paid for?
Well, there is a way, and this is exactly how I will accomplish it. The first thing we must do is install our own CRIME LAB. Space already exists in the detention center for a crime lab. Instead of bearing the cost of establishing the lab from scratch, at a price tag of $1 million, it would make much more economic sense to provide this space to a subcontractor. Cumberland County recently did exactly this at an annual cost of $288,000. Forsyth County has installed a crime lab too, and the judge makes the defendant pay for the tests. If we could speed up the trial of two incarcerated prisoner by 2.8 years (remember, it currently takes three years to get a drug dealer to trial), the saved incarceration fees will more than pay the annual cost of running the crime lab. The annual cost can also be reduced even more by sharing it with one or two more counties, and possible government grants. It could also be used as a teaching lab in conjunction with Sandhills Community College, which could further reduce operating costs .This is such a no-brainer that there should be neon sign on the sheriff's wall that says "it's the crime lab Sheriff!" We could then pass the savings on to the deputies and the detention center employees in the form of merit raises. I want our staff to be the best paid in their field, in our state. This will help boost morale, increase productivity, but above all, help retain good help. When an opening does occur, better candidates will be applying for the job. Right now we're just a training ground for surrounding counties who snatch our employees away once we've trained them on your nickel.
How I will make the Sheriff Department FREE to the taxpayer and put money back in the county’s coffers.
Last year the Federal Government spent over $80 billion renting jail space. There is no reason $45 Million of those dollars cannot be spent here in Moore County. We are already participating with other detention centers by helping to supply space for overflow situations. Between the old and new detention centers there are 288 beds. After our new crime lab reduces demand on our detention center, we will only have a need for 70 beds. That leaves 218 beds that can be leased out. I am told, on average, the Federal Government will lease beds for $575 per day. That is a gross of $45,752,750. After deducting for the added cost of housing the prisoners, the Sheriff Department should be able to give back to the County (on top of a free Sheriff Department) up to $25 million annually.
This surplus of cash will allow me to give the citizens of Moore County the best paid, educated, equipped, and trained staff in the State of North Carolina. Deputies will look forward to coming to work under my leadership. I will reorganize the staff into teams, and reward teams with bonuses for accomplishing goals. Everyone’s opinions and ideas will be considered to achieve our goals. Deputies will quickly learn that I am there to support their mission, which will always be the following:
Build the community to you.
Never, ever, compromise you integrity.
Protect and serve everyone, especially children, the elderly and innocent animals.
Getting drug dealers and traffickers out of our County will be my #1 goal. By putting in a crime lab and getting them to trial within 90 days (instead of the current 3 years), and then sending them to prison, will send a strong message. That will be, if you choose to be in the drug distribution business, you better find some other place than Moore County to do it, because when you are caught in our County, there will be no delays or plea deals. You will go to prison. I will also use my two radio stations, and encourage the public with a year round campaign, to turn in tips about drug activity in our community. This will result in a dramatic drop in drug dealing and trafficking arrests, because the offenders will move their operations to other counties, where it will still take 3 years to get to trial.
Cutting down the supply of drugs is just half the equation. The demand side is much larger and will require a complex, multi-tiered approach. The first thing we need to do is to develop a program, tailored to each school level, and present it during an assembly at each school in the county every year, in an effort to reach every single student. The higher the schools level, the more intense the program needs to be in order to convey the consequences associated with doing drugs.
Next, we need to develop what I call "a way out program." When someone is busted for felony possession of drugs (for example, one non-prescribed pill), and they are a first time offender, there should be a way for them to get the offense expunged from their record. I would work with the District Attorney's Office, and the courts, to develop a plan whereby the defendant first give up their supplier. Secondly, they would come in weekly for the next six months and be tested for drugs. Thirdly, they would perform a prescribed amount of community service and would be paired with a mentor, who is a rehabilitated drug offender. Upon successful completion of the program, the defendant's record would be expunged.
I would also like to start a "Scared Straight" program, in an effort to reach those youths who are on the borderline of committing their lives to a life of crime and gangs. These programs have been successful in turning around many lives in other communities.
One Final Thought
It has been my honor to be considered for the position of Sheriff of Moore County. In closing let me ask you one question. If I am appointed Sheriff, what is the worst thing that could happen? The answer is, the department will move forward with little change. However, I assure you that will not happen. I have never failed at any project
I have taken on. I will work relentlessly until I have achieved success. We will bring down real crime rates in Moore County, and we will start winning the war on drugs. We will all once again enjoy a safe environment for our County, and you will be proud of your Moore County Sheriff Department.
I am constantly talking to fellow Republicans about the condition of our county, state, and country. The number one complaint I often hear is that nothing ever changes. North Carolina law allows anyone who can legally hold office, to become Sheriff. This is so that the citizens can pick the right candidate to fit the situation in their county. If this were Ashe County, North Carolina, where the Sheriff Department staff has about 15 deputies, I would not be the right candidate, since the Sheriff is actively patrolling with his deputies. However, this is Moore County, where you have 75 deputies, 46 detention officers, and a potential 288 inmates. This is an environment that is better handled with professional management skills, rather than deputy skills.
At the age of 27, I took my life savings of $25,000 and went to the bank and secured three residential construction loans. Within six years I had grown my construction company into the largest homebuilding company in the state of North Carolina. I had over 100 homes under construction at any one time, and built over 2000 homes. I submit that I’m not just a good manager, I am a great manager. I possess the skills needed to make my plans for the Moore County Sheriff Department a reality.
As a member of the Moore County Republican Executive Committee, you must decide who is going to be the next Sheriff. For this election, you have two distinct paths to choose from. Down Path A, you have two very qualified candidates with impressive law-enforcement careers. They are both good men, and will keep the Sheriff Department as it has been, complete with rising crime rates, a good old boys, bureaucratic management network, and a constantly rising budget. The other, Path B, is the one that I have proposed, with a crime lab, a 97% conviction rate for drug dealers and traffickers and a plan to eliminate them from our County, a free Sheriff Department to the Moore County taxpayer, and a potential $25 million annual surplus to build schools and a new courthouse.
It is easy to choose Path A. No one will be upset with you and The Pilot will write nice things about you. I am asking you to choose Path B with me, because it is the right thing to do for our County. I will use my radio station to rapidly educate the public as to the wisdom of your decision. Together we will make the Moore County Sheriff Department the premier agency I know it can be.
Thank you for your consideration. May God bless you, and guide you in making the correct choice for our great County.