Commentary

Flora Scott: Sheriff protector against bad cops

by Flora Scott

We don’t need to defund the police. Your sheriff is the highest elected local law enforcement officer and authorized to intervene on your behalf if other police step on your constitutional rights.

Say, hypothetically speaking, you were in a situation where there was abuse that left you feeling amputated from the only source of protection you knew to turn to for help because the violation had been perpetrated by one of their own. What if your kid gets pulled over driving your car and your car suddenly belongs to the county because the passenger had some drugs hidden in his pocket? Remember that time in college you watched your roommate get his drunk butt kicked by the cop breaking up a barroom brawl? 

You felt so helpless.

I was once assaulted after an arrest for drunk driving by an officer while in custody. What if the perpetrator is, in fact, a member of a brotherhood responsible for protecting, defending and preserving your civil liberties. Who do you turn to when the police aren’t an option?

Lately there’s been a lot of talk about defunding the police. And there are some strong cases for demilitarizing our local authorities. But when it comes to protecting and serving, is there a way to counterbalance the men and women who volunteer to step into dangerous situations on our behalf? Let’s face it: we aren’t computers ( yet ). There are going to be Bad Cops, Dishonest Mechanics, Greedy Lawyers, Pedophile Teachers, Slumlords and the lists goes on and on. But as far as The Police go, how can we ensure our safety is not being jeopardized while limiting misconduct?

History gives us many examples of might over rights. Robin Hood is the well known story of a man who fought this trend by protecting The People by fighting the corruption of his officials. Did you know that Robin Hood is a forerunner of our modern day sheriff, who is the highest elected local law enforcement officer. 

A sheriff is not a bureaucratic appointee and does not represent the federal government. Rather, your sheriff is a representative of the people and works for the people of his county. He can be the most powerful defender of your liberty. His duty is to protect the rights of the people from all unlawful acts, even if those acts are carried out under the guise of law by the government itself. The Sheriff takes an oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States of America.

When elections come around again, elect a sheriff who would have sat down next to Rosa Parks on the bus. When elections come around again, make sure you feel safe in your sheriffs’ county no matter who is holding the highest elected office. Thats right: the President cannot issue any executive order that is constitutionally or legally binding upon your Sheriff. His oath is to The Constitution of the United States and The Constitution of the United Stated only.

It just leaves me wondering why we would want to defund the police and not simply pay more attention to who we elect to The Sheriffs’ office and utilize our Modern Day Robin Hoods.

Flora Scott was an actress and writer in NYC and the Washington DC area. She’s a former resident of Vermont and happy to be resting her head once again in the town of Waterbury and the Beautiful Green Mountain State. Like everyone else, she’s worried about the current state of affairs and is setting her sights on making positive and productive contributions to the community.

Categories: Commentary

14 replies »

  1. “The Sheriff takes an oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States of America.”

    No, no they don’t. Federal officials and military do, but that is kind of irrelevant and actually oppositional to what I think is your point.

    The sheriff’s oath is defined in Section 56 of the Constitution of Vermont. I’ve pasted it below for your convenience. This piece is some silly sovereign citizen stuff that will put some unfortunate law enforcement officer in the position of having to shoot some lunatic who thinks a court has no jurisdiction because its flag has tassels or some other conspiracy junk. Not helping.

    OATH OF ALLEGIANCE; OATH OF OFFICE
    § 56. [OATHS OF ALLEGIANCE AND OFFICE]
    Every officer, whether judicial, executive, or military, in authority under this State, before entering upon the execution of office, shall take and subscribe the following oath or affirmation of allegiance to this State, (unless the officer shall produce evidence that the officer has before taken the same) and also the following oath or affirmation of office, except military officers, and such as shall be exempted by the Legislature.

    The Oath or Affirmation of Allegiance

    You __________ do solemnly swear (or affirm) that you will be true and faithful to the State of Vermont, and that you will not, directly or indirectly, do any act or thing injurious to the Constitution or Government thereof . (If an oath) So help you God . (If an affirmation) Under the pains and penalties of perjury .

    • To Mr. Cashman, Actually, the Sheriff is a constitutional officer. A person can be elected Sheriff with no law enforcement background or credentials. If I am wrong, please point to the section in the constitution that does not support my point. Also, in an emergency, who is going to stop a sheriff from appointing (deputizing) citizen assistance when there is no time for legislative deputy qualifications which do not over ride the sheriffs constitutional duty?

      • Right, by the Vermont Constitution. Section 56 to be exact. Which I pasted above.
        But the statement ““The Sheriff takes an oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States of America.” is completely and utterly false which can be verified independently by anyone with access to an internet browser in about 30 seconds.

        Just because you think something “should be true” doesn’t make it true. The singular point for me being this person wrote a piece about the importance of understanding the Constitution, but didn’t bother to read it. Very lazy.

        As for qualifications and your assorted “What ifs”; I said nothing about it so you must have the wrong guy. Feel free to answer your own questions and report back.

    • “will not, directly or indirectly, do any act or thing injurious to the Constitution”

      By your own post, they have sworn allegiance to the constitution.

      • Right, of Vermont. Not “the Constitution of the United States”. Because of that whole pesky “thereof” at the end. So the statement ““The Sheriff takes an oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States of America.” is utterly and easily provably false.

        Or are you claiming that the Sheriffs in Vermont swear an oath the the Constitution of the United States?

      • I have to admit that it’s a hell of a rabbit hole… There’s evidence for and against what you are saying. I cannot determine this personally but I can say is that newer doctrine favors what you are saying and older doctrine says that they are constitutional officers.

        Probably just another case of where the government has increased it’s powers over time as the people (myself included) have been asleep at the wheel… Another case where common law favors the government over the people.

        Personally I believe in the constitution and someone has to enforce it soon or there won’t be one… Hopefully it doesn’t have to be the people as that was messy last time.

      • No, there is no equivocation. The author of this regrettable and misinformed piece wrote ““The Sheriff takes an oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States of America.” That is a factually incorrect statement easily proven by anyone with 30 seconds and an internet connection.

        Here’s the problem; people jettison objectivity and reason when they are talking about someone or something they like or dislike. Use one standard of evidence and stick with it, regardless of whether or not it leads you to a result you like or dislike. The author was factually incorrect, period. It doesn’t matter what her viewpoint is, where she’s from, what here history is, whether or not you agree with the central point of her missive (whatever that is), she was provably wrong and no, there is no “evidence for or against” it. Just evidence for it.

        This subjugation of reason to politics and personal ideologies on both sides has got to stop, it’s not only divisive but also dumbing us down. Since when is a wrong “right” simply because you agree with the clown making the claim?

      • I disagree. There is some precedence for it as I explained it’s a rabbit hole. It’s not 100% your way or theirs IMO.

        “No, there is no equivocation. The author of this regrettable and misinformed piece wrote ““The Sheriff takes an oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States of America.” That is a factually incorrect statement easily proven by anyone with 30 seconds and an internet connection.”

        I agree with you here though it’s impossible to know if that’s what this person is doing:
        “Here’s the problem; people jettison objectivity and reason when they are talking about someone or something they like or dislike. Use one standard of evidence and stick with it, regardless of whether or not it leads you to a result you like or dislike.”

        I disagree here again for the reason above:
        “The author was factually incorrect, period. It doesn’t matter what her viewpoint is, where she’s from, what here history is, whether or not you agree with the central point of her missive (whatever that is), she was provably wrong and no, there is no “evidence for or against” it. Just evidence for it.”

        I agree with you totally here:
        “This subjugation of reason to politics and personal ideologies on both sides has got to stop, it’s not only divisive but also dumbing us down. Since when is a wrong “right” simply because you agree with the clown making the claim?”

        There is a lot of misinformation everywhere right now. The media is lying to us, the government is lying to us, our doctors are lying to us and people are reaching out to find what they need. They may not find the truth but at least they are trying.

  2. Not really. Sheriffs can require assistance in certain matters and there is a $500 penalty in certain cases for refusing: “§ 301. Penalty for refusal to assist – A person being required in the name of the State by a sheriff, deputy sheriff, high bailiff, deputy bailiff, or constable, who neglects or refuses to assist the officer in the execution of his or her office, in a criminal cause, in the preservation of the peace, in the apprehension and securing of a person for a breach of the peace, in a search and seizure of alcohol as defined in 7 V.S.A. § 2 or in transporting the alcohol when seized, or in a case of escape or rescue of persons arrested on civil process, shall be fined not more than $500.00, unless the circumstances under which his or her assistance is called for amount to a riot, in which case he or she shall be imprisoned not more than six months or fined not more than $100.00, or both. (Amended 2017, No. 83, § 157.)”

    Actual deputies are required to have the qualifications as the sheriff.
    § 307. Deputy sheriffs; appointments and revocation

    (a) A sheriff may appoint deputies who need not be legal residents of the State, one or more of whom shall be a woman. The duties of deputy sheriffs shall be the same as those imposed by law on sheriffs and other peace officers in the enforcement of the criminal law. A deputy shall not perform an official act until his or her deputation and oath are filed for record in the office of the county clerk. A sheriff may dismiss a deputy and revoke his or her deputation. Such revocation shall be recorded in the office of the county clerk and shall take effect from the day of such record.

    (b) A sheriff may appoint persons as deputy sheriffs to serve civil process, including child support enforcement as provided in 15 V.S.A. § 800, whom the sheriff shall train and supervise. Such deputies need not be qualified law enforcement officers, but if not so qualified shall not have arrest powers, and shall not carry firearms in performance of their duties in serving civil process.

    • As of late, I see that you like to argue or disagree with commenters.

      § 50. [ELECTION OF ASSISTANT JUDGES, SHERIFFS AND STATE’S ATTORNEYS]
      The Assistant Judges shall be elected by the voters of their respective districts as established by law. Their judicial functions shall be established by law. Their term of office shall be four years and shall commence on the first day of February next after their election.

      Sheriffs shall be elected by the voters of their respective districts as established by law. Their term of office shall be four years and shall commence on the first day of February next after their election.

      State’s Attorneys shall be elected by the voters of their respective districts as established by law. Their term of office shall be four years and shall commence on the first day of February next after their election.

      While the legislature can require deputies engaged in law enforcement activities, the sheriff can deputize whoever he/she wants to. The Sheriff can not be disqualified or fired, they must be impeached in a legislative trial. The sheriff has constitutional authority and is not bound by unconstitutional laws.

      • I point out people who make bald face lies, false claims, and engage in willful hypocrisy, regardless of their or my politics. That isn’t really “disagreeing” per se, more like being observant with a healthy respect for objectivity and reality. If you have a problem with facts, take that up with reality, not me.

        As for Section 50 : huh? You need to provide some context because guidance on elections has nothing to do with this topic.

        The writer of this unfortunate piece wrote ““The Sheriff takes an oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States of America.”

        That is demonstrably false. Are you claiming that Vermont Sheriffs swear an oath to the US Constitution?

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