This election year, the citizens of Umatilla County have an opportunity to elect as sheriff one of the finest people I have ever known. Bob Murstig is a man who is intelligent, honest and hard working. He has been a police professional most of his life. He is not a man who seeks office for his own gratification or ego. He seeks office to really serve the citizens of this county. His plans for the Sheriff's Office are innovative and responsible. Law enforcement agencies that cooperate with each other and work together are in his plans. If you've been watching the 9-11 hearings recently, you know cooperation is what our law enforcement agencies need to build, especially at the local level.
Several years ago we built a new jail. The jail cost the taxpayers over $15 million. We built it to give law enforcement the ability to house 250 criminals, roughly double the size of the old jail. Since it's been built, it has never run at full capacity. It runs at about half capacity. Criminals are released daily with the excuse that there is no room. If we're not going to use the jail at capacity, I have to ask why did we spend all of that money to have it? Bob Murstig has a plan to open the jail to full capacity and keep criminals locked up. Gee, maybe making the criminals stay in jail will cut the crime rate. I endorse and will be voting for Bob Murstig for these and many other reasons.