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McLean doing good job

To the editor:

I recently read a letter to the editor about Sheriff Brian McLean that I know was filled with misinformation of willful malice and an attempt on character assassination. I am a retired Sheriff with over forty years in the law enforcement business. I have been in law enforcement in Upper Michigan, South Florida, and North Florida. I have known Brian McLean for my entire life and our families knew each other for most of their adult lives. I have always found him to be an honest, dedicated, professional public servant. He has dedicated his life to the community he serves, his family and friends. He has always put service above self.

Now for the truth. The only two statements in the letter that were true are (1) “facts do not lie,” and (2) “Sheriff Ron Lahti from Keweenaw County did a great job and was a great Sheriff”. This statement is true – Sheriff Lahti was a great Sheriff and a great person. I have known him since we went to the police academy together at NMU.

The information I quote is not my opinion but gathered from the Michigan Crime statistics. The letter I read talked about crime out of control and drugs running rampant with towns in devastation and an overcrowded jail.

Now for the rest of the story. The crime statistics gave Houghton County an A+ rating. All crime in Houghton County is down. Houghton County is 40% below the national average and violent crime is 70% below the national average. Year by year crime has decreased by 25%. The report stated that Houghton County is almost 70% safer than any other place in the U.S.

Does any of this sound like crime is out of control? I don’t think so. Are there drugs in Houghton County? Of course, there are. This nation has been facing the biggest drug epidemic in history. So much so the President has declared it a Public Safety/Public Health emergency. The Sheriff’s Office, in partnership with all the other Law Enforcement agencies and the Upper Peninsula Substance Enforcement Team (UPSET) address the drug issue daily. We know there is a direct correlation between drugs and crime yet the crime statistics for Houghton County do not show drug devastation there.  Yes, there are drugs there, but it has not reached epidemic proportion.

Sheriff McLean is not responsible for all crime in Houghton County but shares that responsibility with the Michigan State Police, Houghton PD, Hancock PD, Calumet PD, Laurum PD, Lake Lindon PD and MTU Campus Police. All have professional well-trained officers who do an excellent job.

The jail is run by a professional staff managing a difficult environment. The prisoners housed from outside of Houghton County offset the cost of maintaining and running the jail. The counties which house prisoners there pay to have them there at no additional cost to Houghton County Taxpayers. For a Sheriff, this is just good business.

Sheriff McLean has worked with the County Commission to maintain his budget and has always been fiscally responsible while maintaining public safety and correctional security for the care, custody and control of the inmates in his facility. None of this is an easy task during these difficult and trying times.

This person states that less than 50% of the Sheriff’s own party did not back him. Again, the math just doesn’t compute when Sheriff McLean won by a large margin of three to one. He must be doing something right to win by that much time after time.

In conclusion, Sheriff Brian McLean is a great Sheriff, law enforcement officer, family man, and most of all, a great person. Thank you for your service, Sheriff McLean, and thank you to all the men and women in law enforcement in Upper Michigan for your dedicated service to the communities you serve. Stay safe.

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