Letter: Experienced Miller seeks positive future for Buncombe

Graphic by Lori Deaton

Buncombe County voters have an important decision to make about which candidate for sheriff will best provide the leadership and experience to ensure public safety. Significant differences are appearing between the leading two candidates.

In a recent debate, Democrat Quentin Miller, 25-year Asheville Police Department veteran, advocated for increased “de-escalation” training for officers as a priority, while his opponent Shad Higgins, local tire company owner, was not willing to “take that social experiment.”

In our growing and prospering region, Mr. Miller is working with District Attorney Todd Williams to find ways to divert some nonviolent offenders from jail time into alternative programs that benefit them and the community, so “we don’t have to build a new jail.” His opponent says construction of a new jail is inevitable.

Buncombe County requires and deserves thoughtful, qualified law enforcement leadership. Managing a $39 million budget, overseeing the county jail, supervising and training deputies, interacting with state and federal agencies, and responding to community concerns are important facets of this complex job.

Quentin Miller seems most able to respond to the challenges of being Buncombe County Sheriff. Mr. Miller graduated courses in advanced law enforcement and administration. He has developed many community policing initiatives: a street ministry and midnight basketball program, a job training program for unemployed community members and a summer camp for at-risk youths.

Quentin Miller seeks a positive future for Buncombe County that includes innovative cooperation with other agencies to combat the opioid epidemic, more transparency of policing activities and increasing the safety of all students and adults. Please vote for this vision in early voting or on Nov. 6!

— Frank L. Fox

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