Marion D. Calhoun is a candidate for Henry County Sheriff. He will appear in the upcoming Democratic Primary on June 9, 2020.
Locust Grove News provided each Sheriff candidate with a questionnaire. The community page has shared each candidate’s responses with Moving Henry Forward for inclusion on our website.
Responses have been reprinted as they were received without any edits for grammar or spelling.
1.) What do you plan to accomplish in your first 30 days? In your first year?
In my first 30 days my plan is to meet and connect with my staff (all staff) certified and non-certified; also, set up meetings with the various levels of government within Henry County to include, judicial, legislative and others and in doing this I will be able to implement a progressive plan of action moving forward. This will also include town hall meetings that are all inclusive of all citizens of Henry County, (at minimum 5 town halls in the first year) strategically located to cover all areas of the county. Having transparency with the community in an open dialogue setting is key, viable and necessary. My goal is to form as many community-based committees as possible based on needs assessed, so not only is this a 30-day plan of action but a long-term goal as well. The more input from the community, the more effective law enforcement in Henry County will become. PROGRESSIVE AND INNOVATIVE LEADERSHIP IS MY PLATFORM.
Also, in my first 30 days I want to have dealt with any staff transfers, appointments and vacancies that normally occur with a change of administrations with as little disruption as possible.
In my first year, my goals will be progressive, innovative and action based. One of my goals will be making community-based policing sustainable, efficient, effective and measurable by being proactive by improving community supervision, thru innovative ideas that meet the needs of all our citizens and their perspective communities; being Sheriff is more than a GUN and a BADGE. Simply put the Sheriff should be to the County what the Governor is to the State and the President is to the country and as I stated above, that’s more than wearing and gun and a badge. Progressively speaking I want to develop actions committees to bridge the gaps between, law enforcement agencies in our county and the tri-county area as well as, Probation & Parole, Judicial, the States Attorney’s office, The County Commissioners, the communities and others to implement local codes or ordinances to effectively deal with first time felony none violent offenders, some low level violent offenders, misdemeanants, youthful offenders and veterans committing crimes due to PTSD to name a few and divert the entire arrest of these said offenders instanter into diversionary programs unlike those currently processed and monitored by the states attorney’s office or other agencies, but instead a more adopted and approved program by those designated. It should be noted that the goals of this initiative are to totally defer the arrest, fingerprinting, bonds, bails and save the participants the enormous legal fees and in doing so, our county frees up countless hours of prosecution and jail resources. By the way, I’m of the mindset, especially since the coronavirus pandemic that “we always did it that way or we can’t do this, that or the third because” are mist and outdated; we can do what ever is needed progressively to move our county forward in its thinking and implementation of needs assessed
Also, in my first year I would like to again develop an action committee with Probation & Parole, Henry County Police, County Probation, and Tri County Law Enforcement, the surrounding communities, Henry County communities and others to develop a Train the trainer cross training and cross Tri County training program. Imagine what an effective tool this would be that the bridges between counties are effectively controlling crime in our communities; for example if a deputy is crossed trained as a Probation & Parole Officer, well now that deputy is certified and no longer needs permission from a probation/parole officer to do a search of person or property immediately because now he/she has that ability. An effective field training program will enhance protection thru supervision by all agencies and little room is left for offenders to fall thru the cracks and ensure our citizens of more security.
2.) What do you think is the most important skill of being an excellent Sheriff?
For me the most important skill of being an excellent Sheriff is being an effective leader, who communicates well, assess situations by sitting on the fence and being able to move from the middle either way based on needs or situation assessed. As I stated before a Sheriff is to the County, what the governor is to the state and the president is to the country. If you are effective at that position, then the community (voters) will be behind you for years to come. I’m a good leader because a good leader leads and a good leader learns from other leaders who are effective leaders; I’m that leader.
3.) What is the biggest need of the Henry County Sheriff’s Department now and what would you do to fill that need?
In my opinion the biggest need of the Henry County Sheriff ‘Department currently is tackling the Opioid and Meth pandemic destroying the county and families. Yes. Just like the coronavirus pandemic; drugs and right now in particular opioids and meth are epidemics in our communities because these two drugs alone are crippling our resources and the users are repeat offenders and the dealers are as well. Therefore, I stated previously that under my leadership I want to have Intra-county cross over training and Inter Tri-County cross over training to deal with this epidemic more effectively and with other areas that are crippling our resources.
Further, regardless of whether I get elected or not my long term goal in the next year is to develop a pilot program to effectively deal with the homelessness in Henry County that includes veterans, offenders released from jail\prison, transplants, sex offenders, families evicted, runaway teen moms and etc. Most citizens in Henry County do not have a clue that these stated groups are crippling our resources and overwhelming all areas of government with no positive change. However, under the direction and close monitoring of the Sheriff Department along with reputable contracted providers in our communities, we can better enforce, better track and better control the variables for more positive outcomes for all stated groups. The goal is a grant funded program with a well written MOP that will be effective, based on needs assessed. I realize this is progressive and innovated but needed.
4.) What specific managerial/leadership experiences do you have that qualify you for this job?
EDUCATION: Graduate of the University of Central Florida with a Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice
QUALIFICATIONS: Retired Florida Department of Corrections Probation Supervisor with positions held as a Correctional Probation Officer I; Correctional Probation Officer II, Correctional Probation Community Control Officer II, Correctional Probation Officer III, Correctional Probation Drug Offender Officer III, Correctional Probation Sex Offender Officer III, Correctional Probation Supervisor I, Correctional Probation Supervisor II, Correctional Probation Treatment Services Supervisor.
TRAINING & CERTIFICATIONS:
- Preventing Crime in the Black Community,
- TRAIN THE TRAINERS/FACILITATOR Domestic Violence & Substance Abuse Behavior Management.
- Advance Domestic Violence Facilitator Training
- Advance Substance Abuse Training
- Group Core Facilitator Training for Domestic Violence in the Power and Control of Addictions
- Youthful Offender Substance Abuse Training
- Domestic Violence Advance Core Training with the National Associations of Forensic Counselors
- Offender Base Community Supervision Advanced Training
- Polk Community College, Criminal Justice Management Training
- Florida Council on Crime and Delinquency Offender Based Time Management Training
- Florida Council on Crime and Delinquency Domestic Violence Training
- Certified Master Addictions Counselor
- Advance Training in Depression and Suicide Prevention
- Client Management Classification
- Human Diversity Training
- Cultural Diversity Training
- Florida Department of Law Enforcement Line Management Training
- Florida Department of law Enforcement Field Training Officer Train the Trainers
- Florida Department of Law Enforcement Surveillance Techniques Training
- Over 50 certifications in community supervision
ACCOMPLISMENTS AND AWARDS
- Chairperson of the annual Community Partnership Black History Program
- Chairperson of Substance Abuse, Mental Health and High-Risk Treatment Program, Circuit 10
- Correctional Probation Supervisor of the year
- Training Coordinator for Circuit 10 to include Mandatory retraining of all staff
- Coordinator for monitoring all contracted Treatment providers in Circuit 10
- Committee Member of the charity “Paint Your Heart Out”
- Certified Instructor for Florida Department of Corrections Probation Academy
- Certified Filed Training Officer
- Correctional Probation Officer Of the year
- Founder and Coordinator of the PROBATION EDUCATION GROWTH (P.E.G.)
- Developed the first Offender Base Random Drug Testing Procedure based on COLOR CODING
PROGRAMS AND INITIATIVES
- Created a 501c3 Program C.A.T.S –Community Alternative Treatment Program
- Created Nytrogirlz sports for at Risk Girls to showcase their athleticism for college scholarships
- Created Homeless Needs
- Created Get up and Move for Quality of Life
- Created 10,000 steps per day challenge
5.) Why are you the best man for the job?
I am the best person for this job because I can be that forward-thinking progressive person Henry County needs as its Sheriff moving forward. I’m not afraid to say those things that need to be said, do those things that must be done and change those things that need changing. I’m not afraid of building bridges, closing gaps and just doing different if it’s going to make Henry County better, more viable, sustainable and PROTECTED.