A Letter to the Citizens of Fulton County
The 2016 election year now lies within our very near future. Therefore, I have already begun the very important process of making the necessary inroads towards gaining significant and meaningful support from our citizens, our businesses and other organizations, for my campaign, to again become the elected Sheriff of Fulton County.
As you may know, I ran for this office in 2012, against the incumbent Sheriff and three other candidates. Unfortunately, out of over 70,000 votes cast, I missed the opportunity for a Primary Run-off by 32 votes (not counting at least 10 voting machines that failed to have my name listed on the ballot).
Nonetheless, this has not deterred me, nor lessened my determination to work even harder in 2016 to prevail in this upcoming Sheriff’s election. I feel tremendously fortunate to have an aggressive and most professional campaign team, all of whom are excited and prepared to travel the length and breadth of Fulton County, to include absolutely every citizen and make our efforts overwhelmingly successful.
Every Fulton County citizen and taxpayer should now be consciously concerned about the issues concerning the Sheriff’s Department. It is the second largest budgetary expense to our general fund, with an annual budget requirement well over 100 million dollars. In the last eleven years, Fulton taxpayers have paid in excess of one billion dollars to this one department alone. This is inexcusable!
Now, the present Sheriff has requested an additional twenty million dollars be added to his already excessive budget. Should we not all be seriously concerned? Moreover, this agency is not being run effectively or efficiently and the employee morale is still at an all-time low. The 2013 Fulton County Annual Report documents that over 400 Sheriff’s Department employees (almost half of the entire staff) left the department that year and the department continues to lose staff at an average rate of seven per month.
When was the last time you saw a Sheriff’s car in or around your neighborhood or your business? The presence of law enforcement officers is still a significant deterrent to crimes in our communities and against our businesses. Yet, this highly paid Sheriff’s Department has, at best, three patrol vehicles on our streets at any given time, for the whole of Fulton County. This does not have to be.
I would assure you that I have the knowledge, experience and the necessary support to change many of these ongoing conditions within the Sheriff’s Department. The Fulton County Sheriff’s Reserve, which I initiated and built during my first term as Sheriff, to almost 400 officers, saved Fulton County taxpayers in excess of twelve million dollars a year in salaries and equipment. They provided more than sufficient additional staff to cover the jail, courthouse and warrant services divisions, without ever being a liability to Fulton County. This reserve now has, at best, twenty five officers. I intend to rebuild this reserve organization and regain significant tax savings for our citizens. Although there are many other problems, for which we must find solutions, I am certain that I can put into place those things which will make our Sheriff’s Department efficient, cost effective and more respected among other law enforcement agencies.
Of course, it goes without saying that a successful campaign must have a majority of support from its’ citizens and generous contributions for its’ many campaign expenses. I am sincerely asking for your financial help. I simply cannot win without your assistance. Your contribution would be greatly appreciated, whatever the amount. The maximum allowable donation, however, is $2,500.
You can contribute securely online here through PayPal using Visa, MasterCard, Discover, or American Express. Contributions can be made by check or money order, and mailed to The Committee to Elect Richard Lankford, P.O. Box 87514 College Park, GA 30337.
Thank you so kindly for your consideration and your assistance in my efforts.
— Richard B. Lankford, Sr.