Op-Ed Letter From Gary Pruitt For Sheriff

by: Gary Pruitt for Sheriff of Hillsborough County

The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office needs REAL leadership. My two opponents will tell you that they are the men to lead because they have the experience in “Leading.” They will both also tell you that I shouldn’t lead because I have spent my career “Not Leading.” Let me explain how my career has been about serving YOU! It has been about following those who entrusted ME to help and serve them while supervising officers in my unit as a Corporal!

While my opponents were climbing the ladder of hierarchy, I was going from call to call answering to the people of this community as I tried to help them put their lives back together. In contrast, my opponents tried to figure out what chair was most comfortable at their big desk, barking out orders from a distance. I was stuck in the middle, trying to make their decisions make sense to the citizens that I served and the officers I lead. 

When my opponents “leadership” gave them nights, weekends, and holidays off, I was at work “Following”! I was following the call to the next nightmare and broken pieces, all while the “leaders” slept and relaxed. When the leaders came to work in the morning and read about the night before over a cup of coffee, these were the very incidents that I lived the night before! I didn’t need coffee to keep me awake; the horrific scenes I witnessed kept me from wanting to close my eyes.

When the leaders got calls from unhappy citizens, they sent me, the follower, the Corporal, to make it better for them. When the child was lost, or the wife was abused, or the Devil himself rose from the depths of Hell to cause pain to the citizens, the “Follower,” Gary Pruitt and his officers came to help!

The citizens of Hillsborough County are exhausted with poor leadership and truly want someone to serve them, to listen to them, to make policies and decisions that protect all. 

The Sheriff must be a leader in the community while being a follower of a citizen-led agency. “It takes a village”. 

The Sheriff must be accessible to the citizen! Communication is paramount to success! 

A Sheriff must LISTEN to, WORK with, and SERVE all communities! 

Why should you elect Gary Pruitt as your next Sheriff? It’s simple. I’m a follower of the people, tell me what you need, and I will see it through! We will make a change together!

As your next Sheriff, I will always serve you while staying true to my core values of COMMUNITY, INTEGRITY, and TRANSPARENCY.

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