Sheriff's candidates responses at forum

October 19, 2006

Douglas W. Mullendore, 52, Williamsport

Plan to deal with rise in crime: More than 80 percent of Washington County Detention Center's inmates are in jail as a result of drugs. The county should develop an adult drug court that treats addicts and punishes dealers. "Let's save the jail cells for those that are actually selling drugs for profit."

Fighting gangs: "If we make it difficult for them to operate in Washington County, they're going to go where the risk of apprehension is lower elsewhere."

Community involvement: "It's the eyes and ears of the community that really (are) going to make a difference ..."

On whether the sheriff's race should be a partisan race: The qualities and credentials of the candidates - not their party - are what matters. "You don't accomplish much as an individual; you accomplish more as a a coalition, and that's what I would be advocating for."

Rich Poffenberger, 46, Clear Spring

Plan to deal with rise in crime: The Sheriff's Department needs to target high-crime areas and educate the community. "Obviously, we have a manpower shortage in this area, and until that comes up a little bit, it's still going to be a problem."


Fighting gangs: Law enforcement must take a "proactive" approach to the problem. "The community's just becoming aware of it, and the reason that that they're out there is because they've been basically provided a safe haven as far as staying out here."

Providing enforcement in the county's outlying areas: "What I propose to do is divide this county into thirds ... I would like to see a substation in each of those sections.

School safety: "Any child that goes to school afraid is unacceptable, and we need to work on that."

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