Pierce County Sheriff candidate seeks to repair fear of police, build trust
Pierce County voters will soon choose a new sheriff in the wake of Paul Pastor’s recent retirement, which has come down to two candidates: Detective Ed Troyer and Lieutenant Cyndie Fajardo. Troyer joined the Gee and Ursula Show to discuss the defund movement and how to build more trust in the police.
There’s been a lot of talk about police reform, and Troyer hopes to negotiate a middle ground concerning how certain calls are handled differently.
“We’re always talking and hearing about defunding. The Pierce County Sheriff’s Department’s been defunded and unfunded before it became a popular term and a popular issue. I agree with a lot of police reforms in different ways of doing things. If you, for instance, are in a car wreck and you got hurt and a deputy got there first. Yes, we’re trained in first aid, but if you have serious injuries and broken bones, you want a paramedic to come take care of you and take you to the hospital,” he said.
“Now, if you take a look at what we’re dealing with through unfunded mandates and people call 911 when they have problems with homeless people, mental health issues, and addiction, I wholeheartedly agree that we need to bring social workers in to work with us and embed them with us to help the homeless and those types of situations,” he added. “Because not only can they take care of the problem and do resources, but they could follow up and continue with the particular people to make sure they’re taking care, unlike police officers, who go there and then the next hour they’re gone and off to the next call … It frees up the police to do police work, to keep you safe and fight crime and do what we were intended to do.”
Gee noted that in Pierce County he’s seen a lack of trust, especially in the Black community, with police officers. How would Troyer address those concerns if elected sheriff?
“Well, there’s some things around I-940 where you bring an advisory board if I’m elected. I’ve already picked up my three representatives from 940. I bring in an advisory board, and I’ve talked to people from many different communities of color, not just the Black community, but Hispanic community, the Korean community … There’s a lot of communities that are afraid of the police; a lot of its perception, and the big thing we need to do is break down that perception, and we need to listen to each other and we need to know what their concerns are, and they need to understand what our job is,” he said.
“Unfortunately, the current criminal justice system can turn a traffic ticket or a small fine into something criminal. And then people spiral down the hole and they’re never going to be able to get out of it. And that’s unfortunate because that does affect minorities and people of color more than it does the white people that can afford to pay a ticket and move on. It’s disproportionate, and I get that, and I agree with that.”
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