Support for Peter | Letter

In the coming election we have a chance to make a choice on the position in our community which requires the deepest level of trust: Sheriff.

Over the past eight years, I have watched as the San Juan County Sheriff’s office has become an institution that raises more concerns than it solves. We have amazing deputies: Involved, responsive and dedicated to the safety of our community. But for all the great deputies we currently have, we have lost just as many. Deputies with decades of experience who became established members of our community only to see their input and experience-driven away by questionable leadership and management. Leadership which, to this date, has yet to explain actions so egregious that the judicial system was forced to intervene to assure constitutional compliance.

Fortunately, we have a reasonable alternative. Our choice for change this term is Sergeant Eric Peter. When Eric arrived on Orcas Island, he brought 22 years of real-life police background with him, having worked with violent crime, gang and drug issues. It is refreshing to hear him discuss the difficulties and stress that those activities had on the community and him as an officer. He has a deep understanding of how communication and trust impacts community relationships.

As a Sergeant on San Juan Island, Eric has had the opportunity to live and understand that the Islands each have their own pulse. He understands that despite our differences, the people of San Juan County should expect consistent service. Deputies should be given proper tools and training, communication should be open and the concerns of all citizens should be given equal weight. In his position, Eric is already known as approachable, reasonable and most importantly respectful. To his fellow officers, he is an asset and already a respected leader.

We cannot continue to allow the trust and respect for our officers to be eroded by maintaining questionable leadership. We have an option that will bring Trust, Communication and Respectability back to San Juan County. I will be Voting for Eric Peter for Sheriff and I hope you will join me.

Justin Paulsen

Orcas Island