Sheriff Candidate Offers Views

William P. “Bill” Oldham

For the past 7 ½ years, I have served as the Chief Deputy of the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office.  Prior to that, I served for over 27 years with the Memphis Police Department, where I rose through the ranks from patrolman to Director.  During my tenure at the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office, I have been part of the Command Team that has brought professionalism, effectiveness and National Accreditation to our Jail and the Law Enforcement Divisions of the SCSO.  VISION AND STRATEGIES In terms of reducing crime in our communities, and the optimal role for the Sheriff’s Office in this effort, we must work with our local, state, and federal law enforcement partners as well as neighborhood, civic and faith based leaders to make Shelby County as safe as possible. I support the Operation Safe Communities Initiatives. This is a plan developed by the private and public sectors to make Shelby County one of the safest communities of its size. We worked with the organizers and the Memphis/Shelby County Crime Commission in developing the fifteen strategies of the Operation Safe Community Initiative. We use the Data Smart Policing Model to deploy deputies using strategy based upon sound data and research. We belong to twelve task forces in collaboration with local, state and federal law enforcement partners to attack crime and criminals who know no jurisdictional boundaries. We pursue every opportunity to share information and develop partnerships with all law enforcement agencies in Shelby County and the surrounding area. We support vertical prosecution and additional resources for our DA’s Office. We have developed programs to mentor youths, work with youthful offenders to educate them and turn them around. We support Drug Court and Assist with its funding. Some of these “Best Practices” were brought to our community to assist us in addressing issues of high importance. The SCSO should be a leader and a resource in making our county safer.  When addressing management philosophy, and the best ways of managing a law enforcement agency with several distinct missions, including law enforcement and jail management, I believe that in order to maintain the public trust we must be an organization of integrity and professionalism. We must be responsive, accessible, inclusive and accountable to the citizens we serve. It starts with me. I am accountable to our citizens and our employees.  I believe that the key to the professional, efficient and effective management of a Sheriff’s Office is to clearly articulate the vision and assemble a leadership team of professionals with experience and integrity and assist them in making the vision a reality. As required by A.C.A. and C.A.L.E.A., goals and objectives are established each year and benchmarked with desired results, responsible parties and time lines.  This builds accountability into the process and allows for input and ownership from the executive staff which then fosters team building and inclusion. It will also be my intent to provide opportunities for the staff to receive the best executive training available. We will annually review “Best Practices” from other local and national organizations to identify those that could assist us in our mission, as mentioned above.  When feasible and necessary, we will bring in outside organizations, such as the Police Executive Research Forum, as we did in 2004, to study our operations and make recommendations to enhance our capabilities in the law enforcement area, and organizations such as Carter Goble Lee to work with us on Jail Master Planning, as we did in 2007. I am pleased to have been rated the top candidate for Sheriff by the Coalition for a Better Memphis.  I have also been endorsed by the Commercial Appeal in the upcoming Republican Primary, as well as by numerous current and past law enforcement professionals (please check my website for a complete listing).  Thank you for your consideration, and please vote Bill Oldham, Shelby County Sheriff, in the May 4th Republican Primary.

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