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Zimmerman answers sheriff's questionnaire

By Allan “Ziggy” Zimmerman
Posted Friday, March 31, 2006

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Goldston, NC - Candidate for Chatham County Sheriff, Allan "Ziggy" Zimmerman answers the Chatham Journal questionnaire. Three candidates are running for the office. The election primary will take place on Tuesday, May 2nd.

Candidate name: Allan “Ziggy” Zimmerman

Campaign web site: zimmerman4sheriff.com

Age: 57

Education: Associates Degree, W.W. Holding (Wake Tech)

Marital Status: Married

Spouse: Karen

Children: Amy, Scott and Shane

Community activities: Member Brush Creek Baptist Church-Ordained Deacon

Member, Chatham County Livestock Producers Association

Member, Chatham County Law Enforcement Association

Volunteer, N.C. Special Olympics

Board of Directors, Chatham County Crimestoppers

Past President, Chatham Central High School Boosters Club

Past President, Chatham Central High School PTSA

Participant in various Community benefits/civic organizations in Chatham County

Elected, Chatham County Board of Education

Proctor- Northwood High School

Sheriff Questionnaire

1. What are your qualifications and what experience do you have in law enforcement?

I have been a certified law enforcement officer in Chatham County for over 26 years. Almost my entire adult life has been committed to public service. I have had a successful and progressive career as a law enforcement officer and continue to do so. I have been awarded the Advanced Law Enforcement Certificate through the Criminal Justice Education and Training Standards Commission. I was trained in Executive Protection and worked with Governor Hunt twice and Governor Martin once on their security detail. (Only a select few are given the opportunity to serve on this detail). I have received training and am certified in various aspects of law enforcement and crime prevention. I continue to receive training through the Siler City Police Department where I remain a certified officer sometimes making undercover drug and weapons buys.


2. What are your three priorities as Sheriff?

1. To serve and protect the citizens of Chatham County

2. Communication: To be available to all citizens of the county

3. Community Involvement: i.e. Community Watch/Community policing


3. What do you consider the three most pressing public safety issues in the county? As Sheriff, how would you deal with these issues?

1. Drug and Crime Prevention: I will increase cooperation and communication between local agencies. One department alone cannot fight these problems. Minor drug arrests are up but we need to get to the source of the drug supply that is poisoning our children. I will place officers back in the communities and in high crime areas. I do not believe that a portion of the patrol force should be committed to saturating major highways working only traffic stops when they could be utilized patrolling these residential and high crime areas.

2. Domestic Violence: I will work with the schools to start a program to educate our children on Domestic Abuse at an early age. I know first hand the effects of Domestic Violence, as my wife was a victim when I met her. Officers should be trained to understand the effects of Domestic Violence and be tolerant of the situation.

3. Communication with the citizens: I want to serve the residents and merchants of this county with the most service oriented Sheriff’s office ever. The Sheriff’s office has made many changes to change the public’s perception of the office but they have not improved their service to the citizens of this county. Businesses are often only checked one time in a 4-day shift. While the department has continually added personnel during this administration, the response time is still often inadequate. Every citizen that attempts to contact the Sheriff’s Department should be able to talk with someone in a timely manner. I will be available; as I have been while serving on the Board of Education. I will eliminate automated telephones so the citizens can have direct access to the department.


4. What are your short and long-term plans for dealing with the increased public safety needs of a growing Chatham County population? How can you best meet the needs of all parts of the county?

As a member of the Board of Education, I know what kind of growth we all are unfortunately facing. With the Federal Government about to cut grants and some funding to law enforcement agencies across the nation, we cannot afford to keep adding officers and equipment at the rate we have been. We must utilize what we have, not keep adding as the current Sheriff proposes. This county CANNOT afford it. Officers will be assigned areas to work and will stay in those areas unless emergencies arise. The more the officers are in these communities, the more they know who belongs there. Community Watch programs need to be implemented across the entire county to involve the people who live in these neighborhoods. I will be directly involved in these activities.


5. What two things would you like to see changed in the Chatham County Sheriff’s department over the next four years and why? What, if anything, would your election do to bring about these changes?

1.Communication-Everyone in the county will have access to the department regardless of their status within the community.

The courtesy of a follow-up telephone call will occur after you have reported a crime to the department.

2.To have the department volunteer more in community events as volunteers, not paid to work these events. If an organization wants to hire them to work the event, that’s great, but this should not be considered as a community event. Example: Deputies should be afforded the opportunity to make extra money, however, this should not be considered attending a community event.

Listing football/basketball games and proms (Jordan Matthews and Northwood) as community events as this administration has done and then charging the Northwood High School prom this year alone $1500 for deputies to work the event is NOT a community event. There are 5 SRO’s in Chatham County and they could be utilized to work these events and then given time off during spring break, summer break or holidays.


6. Since all the candidates for Sheriff seem to emphasize reducing drug use, what standards of measure will you use? When the next election comes around, what will you offer as evidence that you have been successful?

I feel we need to have a better working relation with not only Siler City and Pittsboro Police Departments, but with other local and state agencies in surrounding counties. I know first hand how much can be accomplished through teamwork. Not only does it increase your manpower, it increases joint information on drug activities in the area. The conviction rate should go up for drug traffickers and not just the occasional user.


7. There are known areas of drug activity in our county. What will you do as Sheriff to clean those areas up?

Increase cooperation & communication between local agencies. The drug activity is not isolated to the county or to one city in the county. It crosses jurisdiction. Most of the undercover activities by this administration have involved the cities of Siler City and Pittsboro. The county has enough drug activity to keep the department busy. These areas need to be addressed as well as the cities.


8. How do you expect to work with the Hispanic community?

By offering Department sponsored community events to familiarize the Hispanic community with the laws and services offered by the Sheriff’s department. I believe one domestic violence officer should be Hispanic to put victims at ease when seeking assistance from the department.

9. Why should I, as a Chatham County resident vote for you?

I am the most experienced and my experience has been based in Chatham County. I lived in Pittsboro when I was first stationed here and live in Goldston now. I know the needs of this county as well as anyone. I have a desire to give this county the Sheriff’s department it deserves. My ability to communicate with people at all levels is one of my strongest traits. I don’t mind sitting down with someone to work out his or her problems. Sometimes decisions are hard to make but they must be made on the basis of what’s best for the entire county and I have demonstrated that while on the School Board. I don’t work for one person’s personal agenda but for the entire well being of the community.

 
 
Zimmerman answers sheriff's questionnaire
Allan "Ziggy" Zimmerman


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