Allegheny Mountain Radio hosted a General Election Candidate Forum on October 25 for Pocahontas County Commission and Pocahontas County Sheriff candidates. The forum also included Allen Johnson, who spoke against the proposed Excess School Levy.
The Pocahontas County Sheriff candidates were asked four questions by AMR Pocahontas County reporter Tim Walker and The Pocahontas Times reporter Suzanne Stewart.
Candidates Jeff Barlow and Troy McCoy were given the opportunity to answer the four questions, as well as give opening and closing statements.
Due to technical difficulties, the forum was not video taped. Instead, each answer is accompanied by a photo of the candidates.
Question #1: The state law allows a Sheriff to hire a deputy sheriff and – provided the applicant has already successfully completed the State Training Academy – assign him/her to patrol prior to completing a background investigation and polygraph test, as long as those are successfully completed before the end of the new deputy’s probation period of up to one year. Would you place a probationary deputy on the street prior to completing a background and polygraph on him/her?
Question #2: Depending on the outcome of the presidential election, the 2nd Amendment may undergo changes. What is your view on gun control, as debated during the campaign?
Question #3: Consider the following scenario – you receive information from what you regard as a very reliable source that one of your deputies has possibly used excessive force while make an arrest for a minor violation, but no complaint has been filed against the deputy by the victim. What immediate action would you take and would you handle this situation as a counseling situation, strictly as an internal administrative investigation, possibly leading to suspension or termination or as a criminal investigation?
Question #4: If elected, what would be your first priority in improving the Sheriff’s Office?