Adam Gardner

Adam Gardner.

Occupation: Homicide detective at the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office

Previous elected offices held: None

Other community service experience:  Safety and Security Director for the Southland Golf and Country Club Homeowner’s Association.

What is motivating you to run for this office?

My family and I love living in DeKalb County and I am genuinely concerned for the safe future of DeKalb. It is everyone’s right to feel and to be safe. This is the main reason why I have decided to run for the office of DeKalb County sheriff. I want to fight to ensure everyone has that right. I also have an extraordinary vision for a safe and secure DeKalb County.

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

The biggest challenge that I see is restoring public trust, and regaining the trust of the Sheriff’s Office employees. I realize that this will take time. However, what it really comes down to is leading by example. Complete transparency, integrity, courage and honor — these are things that the public needs to see, as well as the staff. That’s why the Citizens’ Review Board that I will create is a really big deal. It will absolutely hold me accountable, and foster relationships between law enforcement and the public. This will begin the change that is needed.

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

COVID-19 only exposed what I have been saying all along. The DeKalb Sheriff’s Office is reactive rather than proactive. Getting the jail staff numbers up and keeping them up has never been a priority for the Sheriff’s Office. The staffing shortage at the jail has put the lives of both staff and prisoners unnecessarily at risk. Any crisis is easier to manage with adequate staffing, and DeKalb County has suffered due to this lack. This is but one of many problems at the Sheriff’s Office, but I have a plan to streamline the hiring process to address this problem.

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