Welcome to the Campaign to Elect Randy Azzato Sheriff
The citizens of Barnstable County need to understand my approach to police work in order to trust me to lead their Sheriff’s Office. This is first in a
series of proposals I will share and discuss with community leaders and constituents.
As part of my “New Vision – New Direction” platform, I will assist local and state police with several new initiatives including both intelligence-led and problem-oriented police
qualifications, both areas in which I have tremendous experience http://www.azzatoforsheriff.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/Meet-Greet_v2.jpgand training. I will also implement community-oriented law enforcement programs to strengthen relationships between police and Cape Cod residents and visitors.
Today I would like to focus on problem-oriented policing, a proven approach that involves the identification and analysis of specific crime or disorder problems, and the development of effective response strategies specifically tailored to these problems. Two examples of my proposed initiatives:
Problem: Bridge Traffic & Safety
As a 13-year Cape Cod resident, I have heard the constant chatter about a new bridge being built at the canal. Using problem-oriented policing I would address ways to improve bridge conditions now. One possible solution is to install yellow reflectors up the center of both bridges over the double yellow lines. This would dramatically increase lane visibility in low light and inclement weather conditions. The trajectory of the bridge would allow for a runway-like setting for approaching motorists. White reflectors could also be installed on the white sidelines to further improve navigation. Flashing yellow digital lights would warn motorists to decrease their speed on the bridge, and radar-monitoring signs could be placed overhead as reminders of excessive speed. I am skilled in the peer reviewing of federal grants and will bring in federal dollars for distribution to local and state police for enforcement initiatives on our bridges.
Problem: Zoning enforcement within our towns
Effective municipal planning programs and strong, consistent zoning enforcement are essential to preventing criminal activity in our towns. As Sheriff, I will fully support zoning offices Cape-wide. The need for strong zoning regulations and enforcement were addressed last year in the Cape Cod Times.
Criminals are very much like water. They take the path of least resistance. Communities must plan carefully and enforce with conviction. Once a certain bad criminal element moves into an area, they are extremely difficult to uproot. I tactically policed high crime neighborhoods in the South Florida counties of Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach. It takes tremendous resolve and resources to take back and reclaim entire neighborhoods, resources most communities simply do not have. Prevention is the key. Cape communities like Osterville, Cotuit, and Chatham along with Edgartown on the Vineyard are shining examples of safety, order and steadfast commitment to strong zoning regulations. Criminals feel out of place in these towns – exactly what we are looking to achieve. I will lead efforts to make all our Cape Cod communities safer by working with local town governments and police departments to develop and enforce strong zoning.
Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) is a multi-disciplinary approach to deterring criminal behavior through environmental design. I have been trained in this approach and look forward to advising community leaders on how we can incorporate these concepts within all our Cape communities. Forward-thinking planning in the design and maintenance of our towns and villages will make our communities stronger and safer places to live, work and visit.
Consider Azzato to replace longtime sheriff
Cape Cod Times
Posted Jul. 9, 2016 at 2:00 AM
Updated Jul 9, 2016 at 8:23 AM
James Cummings, the 18-year incumbent sheriff of Barnstable County, has an opponent this election year. Lawman Randy Azzato, a Democrat, is running against the Republican Cummings, whose operation reminds this writer of the sheriff of Nottingham, England’s lawman during Robin Hood’s time. His operation is a model of a feudal empire with no public accountability.
The current sheriff’s office has no transparency, no public accountability and no data in the public record about how Cummings hires, whom he hires and what standards his employees meet or do not meet as they do his bidding.
In addition, while cities and towns value open discourse and debate about spending through the town meeting model, the sheriff has no oversight committee, no citizen advisory committee nor any other public examination of his spending. Even the standards required of his employees are masked as to their compliance. Not to have law enforcement staff fully licensed and certified invites expensive lawsuits. The sheriff runs a “closed system” with our dollars.
Cummings’ approaches to management are time-worn Republican top-down “the truth is in me”-driven approaches to problem-solving that are more Prussian than American, more old-school than modern. His close-to-the-vest control of information about salaries and training standards clearly establishes his office as a feudal site that closely guards information. It is not an open system offering transparency and accountability or exchanging information with the public regularly. No town meeting examinations for the sheriff!
Until now, no one has challenged his feudal empire. Randy Azzato is a seasoned law enforcement person with multi state exposure and multilevel experience who has extraordinary credentials in mastering modern approaches to law enforcement and correction issues. He is running to replace Cummings. I encourage voters to take a look. This is not about what political party the person being considered is from, it’s about public accountability.
Under Cummings’ watch, a special deputy plucked out of an embarrassing political quagmire several years ago has picked up over a half million dollars in payouts on the sheriff’s payroll. No data are available to the public about why he is so valuable. Silence. A grant allowed a boat with advanced technology to be purchased, with no plan to use it strategically. It is an expensive pleasure boat for the sheriff, supported by tax dollars. No public accountability.
Consider Azzato to replace Cummings. Eighteen years as a feudal lord has made the sheriff too comfortable, too content, too private and too outdated for a modern Cape Cod culture. We need to modernize our approaches to reducing crime and attending to new opioid issues, not protect old thinking. Life has changed on our peninsula. Randy Azzato has what it will take to modernize the Barnstable County Sheriff’s Office. Let’s get behind him.
We need new ideas, new approaches and public accountability in addressing the criminal world, which itself is also changing. It is the ethical and moral thing to do, rather than continuing to allow an outdated feudal approach to handling crime, prisons and citizen protection here on the Cape.
—Thomas Johnson of Harwich Port has no affiliation with Randy Azzato’s election campaign.