I think Sheriff John Hanlin is wrong to be depicted in political literature telling us how to vote while wearing the uniform. The sheriff’s office belongs to all of us, those who may vote yes on the proposed Home Rule Charter, those who may vote no and those who may not vote at all.

I’m surprised there isn’t a law prohibiting using his public office for political purposes. Regardless, Douglas County residents say they place a high premium on individual responsibility. I would like to see our sheriff hold himself to that higher standard. Of course, John Hanlin enjoys the right we all do to say whatever he wants on any issue -- just not on the public’s time and wearing the public’s uniform.

Political literature supporting of one side of this measure discusses issues that are hardly within the sheriff’s domain. What it says is highly debatable and even downright wrong. I’m not sure whether Hanlin -- professionally or personally -- is qualified to judge whether Home Rule is “extreme,” would make governance more opaque than the current commissioners do, reduce private employment or advance environmentalism. Reasonable people may differ on these matters, but Sheriff Hanlin is expert on none.

It would be reasonable to ask the sheriff what affect the new charter would have on his official duties. However, he has now compromised his professional objectivity.

The sheriff’s office receives 100 percent of the property tax going to the county government, as well as more from other sources. Better Sheriff Hanlin should focus on protecting our safety economically and efficiently that we pay for, and stop playing politics. He’s wrong to use the public’s office and uniform in this way.

Bentley Gilbert


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(5) comments


What is next political ads on cop cars?


Uh oh . . . indeed. Maybe his time is better spent tending to his shop.

Handy Barker

I have to agree. Why is a Nonpartisan sheriff featured--in his Nonpartisan uniform--on nearly all the flyers, banners and signs opposing a ballot measure? I've already written the Secretary of State and have found several other good citizens had beaten me to it and no doubt an investigation is called for. Is there anything above-board in our current county government?

If my house has a "YES ON HOME RULE" sign, will Sheriff Hanlin choose to veto serving me, as his conscience served him to retweet Sandy Hook Hoax literature or he wrote to overrule federal gun laws?

The entire Pro-Home Rule campaign is riddled with scare tactics, half truths, outright falsehoods, and deceitful tactics. But this one: featuring a partisan sheriff when he's supposed to be nonpartisan and serving all of us--is the worst.


Handy, did you mean to say the entire ANTI home rule campaign is based on scare tactics? The reason I ask is because, based on your entire letter, it appears you are criticising the NO people.


Thanks for stepping out of the shadows regarding the Sheriff. Sadly, he has secured himself now as one of the puppets owned by the $100,000 club which is at the root of the opposition campaign. Former Commissioner Robertson and Sheriff Hanlin have repeatedly claimed that Second Amendment and gun rights are threatened by the Charter with the highlighted words:
(B) The Sheriff of Douglas County shall be responsible for:
(1) The enforcement of State law and County Ordinances, EXCEPT AS DETERMINED OTHERWISE BY THE BOARD.

First, Commissioners have NO authority to usurp State or Federal laws; however, they are tasked with and responsible for local ordinances and resolutions. AND, if you read it the way it is intended:

The enforcement of State law; and, County Ordinances, except as determined otherwise by the Board. No one saw this extreme misinterpretation coming. Wesenberg, Robertson and Hanlin know this . . . they just don’t want you to so they have misinterpreted it . . . . because it just isn't EXTREME or scary enough to stop you from voting YES. . .

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