Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Sheriff Candidates Start To Sort Themselves Out

The three candidates for Rock County Sheriff met in their first open forum at a meeting of the Rock County chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness at New Hope United Methodist Church in Beloit so, naturally, the focus was largely on law enforcement dealing with mentally ill lawbreakers in a time of bulging jails.

Read what the candidates had to say in the Gazette article by Dan Hinkel.

Homage was paid to the Winnebago County, IL Mental Health Court, to treatment alternatives to incarceration, to a Day Reporting Center to take some of the load off the jail and to refurbishing the Caravillo Nursing Home site for use as a new Huber Center.

For my money, the most startling idea for dealing with the mentally ill came from Independent candidate Gary Keller. All three were asked how they would have dealt with a criminal like Jeffrey Dahmer.

Wasemiller and Spoden gave responses related to administrative methods of
dealing with violent inmates, while Keller brought up a favorite issue: the
Second Amendment. He said Dahmer would not have been a problem if people had the right to carry concealed weapons.

"The citizens would have taken care of that problem themselves," he said.

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