Kyle K. Jones

Kyle K. Jones.

Occupation: Retired law enforcement executive/businessman

Previous elected offices held: None

Other community service experience: Chairman of the DeKalb County Merit System Citizen review board; Former Co-Chair for DeKalb Seniors and Law Enforcement together Council (SALT). I work with several behavioral health and drug and alcohol addiction centers in metro Atlanta. I am also an independent union representative for two labor unions in metro Atlanta. I also work with several groups that serve at-risk youth in DeKalb County.

What is motivating you to run for this office?

Break the former sheriff’s (Thomas Brown) stronghold on the Sheriff’s Office budget, bonding process and operation.

To conduct a forensic audit; identify and prosecute individuals involved in corruption; restore the citizens’ trust; reform bail by ending the monopoly the current bonding companies have; address the staffing issues and inmates’ conditions in the jail; screen for mental health and drug addictions in the jail so inmates receive treatment and not incarceration; cross-train all deputies and detention officers; improve courthouse security; and work with the police departments in DeKalb to develop a joint comprehensive plan to reduce crime.

What is the biggest issue facing the Sheriff’s Office and how will you address it?

The reputation of corruption and cronyism is very well earned and deserved at the present time. The process in which the interim sheriff was appointed and by whom she was appointed by is all a ploy to continue hiding it from the public. The bonding companies have a monopoly on the bonding process in DeKalb County and this has been made possible by the past and current interim sheriffs. No-bid contracts, I believe, are being awarded without a thorough vetting process. This is only the surface.

What strengths and weaknesses have the coronavirus pandemic crisis revealed in law enforcement and jail management in DeKalb County?

The strength is that we have dedicated and hard-working men and women on the front line ready to serve. The weakness is the absence of strong leadership that leaves them vulnerable. I do not want to Monday-morning quarterback anyone involved in handling the current situation at jail as it relates to it being infested with cases of the coronavirus by both employees and inmates. What I will say is that more should have been done early on to protect the employees as well as the inmates instead of the current interim sheriff holding a non-productive press conference.

John Ruch

John Ruch is an Atlanta-based journalist. Previously, he was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.