The following is a letter sent to Toss Hoss from a deputy in the Baldwin Sheriff’s Office. This deputy has asked to remain anonymous. We can be contacted by other LEOs through our secure email address firstname.lastname@example.org. We appreciate the service of our deputies and value what they have to say.
To the citizens of Baldwin County:
You have been made aware and informed of the many things the Sheriff and his administration are doing to violate your rights and use the position for his own agenda. I feel it is my duty as a veteran Deputy of the office to make you aware of the abuses and unfair treatment that are happening on the inside. As I said I am a Deputy Sheriff who has worked for the previous administration as well as this one but cannot reveal my identity for fear of retaliation from Sheriff Mack.
I would like to start by addressing the law enforcement experience of Sheriff Mack and one of his Chief Deputies. Sheriff Mack had no law enforcement experience prior to being hired from the forensic lab in Mobile. After his hire he was put in charge of the criminal investigations division where he remained until he was elected Sheriff. He has never been a patrol deputy where you gain valuable experience in serving the public as well gaining the respect of your peers.
Since being elected he hired his best friend, Anthony Lowery and put him in charge of the Civil Division and has since elevated him to assistant Chief Deputy where he makes important decisions within the enforcement division of the Sheriff’s office. Lowery also has no prior law enforcement experience. His only job that related prior to his appointment was being an investigator for the District Attorney’s Office. So it is fair to say that the men making the decisions in the Sheriff’s Office are not as qualified as being reported by some news media outlets.
Second I would like to address the state of moral and the unfair treatment of Sheriff’s Office employee’s by this administration. The majority of Deputies are unhappy with the Sheriff and the way he is running the office but can’t voice their opinions for fear of retaliation. I have seen it happen many times. Some instances are:
• A veteran investigator gave some opinions of his/her ideas about how to more efficiently run the Criminal Investigations Division. Rather than commend and speak with him/her on the ideas the Deputy was transferred to patrol to work shift work and then transferred again to court security. I am sure the Deputy was told that it was because of the needs of the department but everyone knows it was to punish the Deputy and put him/her back in line.
• An office clerk at the Fairhope satellite courthouse was transferred to the Foley satellite courthouse in an attempt to make her quit all because the Sheriff’s number #2 man did not like her. This employee has been with the Sheriff’s Office for as long as I have or longer and is loved by the citizens of Baldwin County as well the Deputies that interact with her. This was a bully move and did not go unnoticed by Sheriff’s Office employees.
• A veteran deputy assigned to investigations was transferred out to be replaced by a rookie with less than 5 years law enforcement experience just because the rookie’s family had political connections that would benefit the Sheriff.
• A veteran Deputy who was a member of the military reserve was denied a chance to promote due to him/her being involuntary deployed during the Iraq war. This does not surprise me though due to the Sheriff or the Chief Deputies never serving in the military.
These are just some of the unfair actions by the Sheriff and his administration that effect moral and the overall performance of the Sheriff’s Office.
Sheriff Mack has the final decision as to what happens within the Sheriff’s Office from promotions, transfers, demotions, disciplinary action and termination. He has ensured this through the Standard Operating Procedure that he revised when he took office so that there would be minimal appeal because he had the final say. Very similar to a dictatorship instead of a democracy.
I voted for Sheriff Mack when he was elected into office because he made promises of change and fairness and that he would always be accessible to his Deputies. That is not the case anymore if you want to see him you have to make an appointment and then it is usually denied if you don’t want to talk about something that he wants to hear. I have lost confidence in the Sheriff and the so called leadership that he has put in command in the office. Sheriff Mack is using the office to boost his own ego and political gain and will say whatever it takes to snowball the citizens of Baldwin County into reelecting him. He has already had two terms and it is time to give someone else a shot. I am supporting Larry Milstid for Sheriff.
When I found out he was running I called and asked why and his reply was that he wanted to get the office back to serving the citizens of Baldwin County and he wanted to right the wrongs of the current administration to include treating good employee’s fairly. Larry also said that he was happy being retired but was told by someone close to him that he should stop sitting around griping about what is going on and try to make a change. I hope you all get out to vote on June 3rd 2014 and vote for either of the two opposing candidates.