In one such editorial, Sharp accused the sheriff of having too much power and questioned who is checking that power. The truth is the sheriff has very little power beyond that of Kansas statute and orders of the court. The real power is held by the voters, and yes, the media. Who is checking the power of Sharp’s pen as she uses it to sway public opinion in an effort to enforce her own personal agenda on readers?
I have had numerous meetings with Sharp and other Herald staff during the past two years. We have tried to build a relationship with the local media and have been successful with everyone but the editor and publisher of The Herald. About a month ago, I met with Tommy Felts, Herald managing editor, to discuss our relationship with The Herald. I left that meeting with a positive attitude and felt as if we had made progress. I am now disappointed.
In Sharp’s Oct. 20 column, she has again accused the sheriff’s office of not being forthright in answering a question posed by one of her reporters. The question was whether or not we have changed our policies restricting access to the public. The answer was direct: No. The sheriff’s office sent out a memo to staff and other agencies regarding restricted access in the secure areas of the office, not public areas such as the lobby. This is a standard accepted by almost every other law enforcement agency in the nation. I encourage you to attempt passage beyond the public areas of any other law enforcement agency in the state unescorted and see how quickly you are redirected.
Sharp then went on to accuse me of supporting infidelity and immoral behavior based on the contents of a lecture for which she was not present. While discussing deviant behavior and the law during a sociology class, I used two examples of how laws change with social norms. One example was the law governing the use of marijuana, as many states are legalizing marijuana for medicinal purposes, and the other example was that of adultery and sodomy — two laws that many states have taken out of their books. This does not indicate in any way that I am supportive of this behavior; it is simply an example of how our laws adapt and change along with our social construct — a social construct that is highly influenced by mass media in our society. Implying that I accept deviant behavior based on this lecture is paramount to implying that a world history teacher is communist if he or she discusses the Stalinist Movement of the 20th Century in class.
“Where there is smoke there is fire” — Sharp has used this analogy more than once. The problem is she has worked feverishly to fan that smoke in an attempt to create something newsworthy to print in her failing tabloid.
The Franklin County Sheriff’s Office is committed to providing the highest level of law enforcement services to the people who live, work, and visit Franklin County. We will continue to serve based on our core values of faith, leadership, integrity, trust and community, regardless of Sharp’s failed attempts to discredit me or this organization.
— Jeff Curry,