Citizens View: Derrick Peterson is best choice for Multnomah County Sheriff
Your endorsement, of Nicole Morrisey O'Donnell for Multnomah County Sheriff, misses the mark in my opinion.
You state that she has the obvious edge in law enforcement. "She'll be ready on day one to lead the law enforcement and corrections sides of this 800-person department." Really?
The only edge Morrisey O'Donnell has is that she has been handpicked throughout her career for several positions, whereas Derrick Peterson has had to earn every position he has held.
Morrisey O'Donnell was handpicked to move from corrections deputy (along with two others) to Lieutenant without ever serving a day as a Sergeant.
She never received training or experience supervising others prior to being given the position of Lieutenant. Morrisey O'Donnell was handpicked to attend the Law Enforcement Academy to gain her certification, whereas Peterson was blocked by Sheriff Reese from doing so, according to Peterson.
Reese handpicked Morrisey to serve as Undersheriff even though her actual on the job experience in Law Enforcement is extremely limited.
She can get credit for being chief deputy of Law Enforcement and time spent getting her field training manual signed off on, but she lacks the experience of even a tenured captain on the Law Enforcement side who has spent years training and performing the full duties of what is required of Law Enforcement Deputy.
Any edge you give her in Law Enforcement is irrelevant, especially since most employees and deputy's work in corrections and that union endorses Derrick Peterson for Sheriff.
You correctly point out both of their successes even stating that "No one (Peterson) is better positioned to address racial- and equal-justice issues", and you add "In today's evolving world of highly visual instances of police abuse of force, voters are demanding leadership that cultivates a cultural shift toward equal justice for BIPOC communities".
If you are sincere in the last statement, then Derrick Peterson, a Black man, with a lengthy resume in diversity and the obvious lived experience, is the perfect person to lead the Sheriff's Office, especially when you consider the recent audit done by Multnomah County, which found that "Conditions in the Multnomah County's two jails are worse for people in custody who are Black and those who have mental health conditions."
The ownership and responsibility for the results of this audit lie directly at the feet of Sheriff Mike Reese and Undersheriff Morrisey, yet she remains silent on the issue deferring to Reese to take the hit.
How can you write about "demanding leadership that cultivates a cultural shift toward equal justice for BIPOC communities", and make the leap to endorse Morrisey? This audit happened on her watch.
Lastly your statement that ("if O'Donnell is as smart as she seems, she will already have considered Peterson as her undersheriff. In that capacity, he would learn the ropes of leading criminal investigations while also trailblazing advances in racial and social justice") this is filled with insensitive racist overtures.
Morrisey doesn't have the skill set to train Peterson in criminal investigations. Petersons life has been fully committed to racial and social justice, he doesn't need Morrisey's blessing to continue that work, what he needs, what this community needs is for Peterson to be elected Sheriff of Multnomah County to implement that "cultural shift toward equal justice for BIPOC communities" you suggested.
Vote Derrick Peterson Multnomah County Sheriff.
Sam Sachs is founder of The No Hate Zone
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