When Sheriff Patterson took office in January of 2009 he had many of the same problems all of the newly elected officials had. He had to deal with years and years of Democrats like Melvin Hunt and Todd Fontenot spending and borrowing money like Washington liberals. He had budget deficits caused by his predecessor and hours and hours of unpaid overtime accrued by his department. Of all the negative and inept things you may have heard about our first term sheriff, what he did stands in such sharp contrast stands out from the way Republicans have clamped down on spending as one of the worst of his administration’s actions.
While Patterson was pulling the people that we pay to protect us off of the street, he was spending his time planning the debut of a star of his own choosing. That is right, to save money and be able to balance the books on all of the overtime his predecessor delayed payment on, he just left this community with inadequate protection. Then simultaneously he spent thousands and thousands of taxpayer dollars re-designing the the department’s star logo, stationary and badge.
Patterson it seems takes every effort to disassociate himself from the DPS and he did not like that the Liberty County Sheriff’s department he inherited from Greg Arthur had as the symbol of their association a star that looked like the one that closely resembled the DPS star.
Those kinds of decisions may seem small but they almost always involve big money. That star was not just pinned to every deputy in the department, it was on all of the cars, all of the stationery, and on just about everything representing the sheriff’s department. And at a time when we needed money to keep deputies patrolling our community, Henry Patterson wanted to make his mark on the department. He wanted a new star.
Now voters will have an opportunity to elect a new sheriff. We will soon have an opportunity to elect someone who is more interested in getting the job done than attacking other public officials and trying to make himself look good by making them look bad. We will soon have an opportunity to elect someone who is interested in the helping the men and women behind the badges look good by providing good leadership rather than a different shaped star or object.