Rick Cummings

Rick Cummings

Rick Cummings

Age: 56

Where lives: Arden
Occupation: Business owner
Education: (left blank)
Party: Democrat
Political experience: Served on the Committee to Elect Shirley Brown District Court Judge (1998 and 2002)

1) Should the Sheriff’s Department be more transparent? If so, what steps would you take to achieve this?

Always room for improvement. Should be accountable to the public and their concerns.

2) What’s the current sheriff’s biggest accomplishment? His biggest failure?

Not aware of any accomplishments. Failure: Not being available to the public and not being consistent in his position as sheriff.

3) Does the department enforce video-poker laws sufficiently? If not, what steps would you take to strengthen enforcement?

Not to my knowledge. Video machines are licensed by the state of N.C. I would answer any complaints made to Sheriff’s Department concerning these machines and would confer with the D.A. about charges.

4) What’s your position on the unannounced urban-warfare exercise the department hosted in downtown Asheville in 2004? Are you aware of plans for more such maneuvers?

Everyone is entitled to freedom of speech, as long as no local or state laws are violated. No … knowledge [of future plans].

5) What does the Sheriff’s Department spend too much money on? Too little?

Too much: No comment.

Too little: Training — not enough sufficient training for SROs and drug education.

6) Is the department’s handling of domestic-violence cases adequate? If not, how would you change it?

To the best of my knowledge [handling is adequate].

7) The department has more auxiliary deputies than any other municipality in the state. What are the pros and cons of this situation?

Pros: They are trained the same as full-time officers and can work alone in the field. I feel this is good in case of a major disaster, or when squads are short they can fill in, thus putting more deputies on the road and in communications.

8) What are your top three crime-fighting priorities?

• Stronger drug enforcement — which will result in less crime.

• Stronger enforcement of sexual and child-molestation offenses.

• Domestic violence.

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