Theodore “Ted” Jackson

Theodore “Ted” Jackson.

Occupation: Fulton County Sheriff

Previous elected offices held: Fulton County Sheriff elected in 2008, 2012, 2016

Other community service experience: Executive Board Member of Drug Czars High Intensity Drug Trafficking Agency; Executive Board Member of the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force; Member of the President’s Commission on Law Enforcement (Homeland Security). Additionally, I am a Lifetime Member of NOBLE and IACP, among other organizations.

What is motivating you to run for this office?

I want to continue and build on the re-entry and recidivism programs that I started in the jail. Also, to continue all the programs for the youth, seniors and homeless initiatives. I am working to return the agency to the Triple Crown rating that it once held. I will strive to continue to work with our law enforcement partners to address crime in the whole county.

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

I would like to address and draw more attention to the mental health issues in the jail through programs designed to enhance and help inmates. I feel with the relationships that I have built with the partnerships in our federal, state and local law enforcement associates, we will be able to impact and continue to address the crime problems in our county. I will continue to build on the gap between law enforcement and the community, through our Outreach Unit with the chaplains, to address our successful programs.

Why should voters keep you in this office?

I am the only candidate with the experience to run the Sheriff’s Office, since none of the other candidates have even visited the Sheriff’s Office recently to really know how and why things have to run the way they do in this turbulent time. This is an unprecedented time that none of us have experienced. They can only speculate what they think they can accomplish. I have a proven track record with much more to accomplish. In my tenure since my first election, there has been nothing but honesty and transparency with no embarrassing blemishes in the media.

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

As we stand together in the fight against the COVID-19 virus, I am working to protect the staff and inmates. Because our jail has new people arriving from the community and returning to the community almost every day, our work impacts the safety of Fulton County and the state of Georgia. Our strengths are the men and women of the department and their willingness to put their lives on the line every day. The weakness is the unpredictableness of the pandemic and what the future holds.

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