I am enjoying tremendously researching and following the fluid action on the Sussex County Sheriff. Many of you have provided me with input. I have received over 600 e-mails so far about the issue from an eclectic group of folks- Republicans, Democrats, and Independents. So far the sentiment is running about 3 to 1 in favor of the Sheriff and his deputies having arrest powers.
Ironically, the actual move to remove all the Sheriff’s existing powers and relegate him legally to only a process server, has come initially from the Sussex County Council of which the majority is made up of Conservative Republicans with one liberal democrat joining in the 5 to 0 unanimous vote. Even more amazing is the charge to eliminate the Sheriff’s remaining powers at Legislative Hall in Dover is now being led and embraced by the Republicans. The conflict is simple– The Constitution says one thing (Sheriff’s are Conservators of the Peace), the state law says something else, “Sheriff’s” are not included as Peace Offcers and not allowed to receive certified police training. Interestingly, Delaware State Police are also labeled “Conservator’s of the Peace”.
Conservatives ( most Republicans) usually believe in the power of the constitution, however, the Delaware Republicans are doing otherwise with the Democrats cleverly waiting in the wings to, in the 11th hour, help pass the bill, while the Repubs will all face primaries and be blamed for their traitorous, anti-conservative actions, once the bill is passed. What a paradox, folks ! Right now the bill has been tabled, because the Repubs are concerned, after innumerable phone calls and lobbying from the Sussex Republican leadership, that they might be thrown out of office because of threatened primaries, are now looking to the Supreme Court to give them an opinion. However, the bill will come back, because it is unlikely the Court will grant an opinion without a law suit.
Please find attached a WBOC article describing how Sussex County Sheriff Christopher asked for the legislature to clarify his role. He, of course, did not expect House Bill 290–which would take away any established powers he already had by statue as per Delaware law. Never a dull moment in Sussex County, Delaware.
***Open the attachment if you are interested and read the article. Your comments are welcome. Stay tuned for updates as the saga continues.
JUDSON Bennett-Coastal Network
***PS, If you would like to see the article attached to my e-mail, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.