Name: Rocky Owenby
Occupation: Buncombe County Sheriff's Office 19 years, contractor at this time
Party affiliation, if any: Democrat
Political experience: I have no desire to be a politician
Endorsements: [None provided.]
1) How much money have you raised for your campaign? Who are your top three donors, and how much has each contributed?
I have concentrated on raising votes, not money, and I am my largest contributor at this time. Several people have donated equal amounts.
2) What most distinguishes you from your opponent?
I am honest, I do what I tell you I will do, and I tell you up front if I can help you or not.
3) What are the top three law-enforcement priorities in Buncombe County?
First, answering calls for service. Second, gaining back trust and respect by assisting the community with their needs. Third, fighting drugs, gang activity and immigration matters with help from the community.
4) What areas need improvement in the Sheriff's Office?
The Sheriff's Office is too top-heavy; we can do the same or more work with less staff at the top and use the monies somewhere else in the county.
5) What are the best ways to deal with drug enforcement?
The drug problem needs to be worked from the streets up to the dealers; this allows drug houses to be shut down or torn down rapidly. This was proven by my patrol squad: In a little over three months, working these areas in our spare time, three houses were condemned.
6) What steps should the office take to protect against racial profiling?
While I was at the Sheriff's Office we did not seem to have a problem with racial profiling; it seems that the deputies treated everyone with the respect they wanted. However we had to fill out a federal form in all vehicle stops so they could track the situation.
7) To what degree should law enforcement collaborate with federal agencies on immigration matters?
We need to do our part in immigration matters. However, when the federal agencies mandate something they should have to supply the resources to ensure that it can be done.
8) What level and type of cooperation would you pursue with other law-enforcement agencies?
Law enforcement is a brotherhood, and I expect my department to do whatever is needed to assist in any matter that arises.
9) How would you deal with gang activity?
Gang activity needs to be led with officers that are skilled in the areas of gangs along with the deputies. I feel that gangs and drugs go hand in hand, so they should be treated the same: Shut down areas where gangs hang out and they will move on.
10) What steps, if any, should be taken to improve conditions at the Buncombe County Detention Facility?
The detention facility needs to be run as a direct-supervision facility, like it was intended when built. It seems that it has been run as an indirect-supervision facility, which has provided the opportunity for inmates to injure themselves or others.