Pat Griffith

Petition candidate for Saluda County sheriff.

Occupation: retired law enforcement

Education: Graduated Saluda High School 1984; associates degree in criminal justice from Spartanburg Methodist College in 1986; Bachelor of Science degree in criminal justice from the University of South Carolina in 1988.

Experience in political or related positions: Deputy for Saluda County Sheriffs Office (corporal) from August 1988 to November 1989; agent with S.C. Department of Probation, Parole, and Pardon Services from April 1990- May 2010 and part-time from August 2010 to March 2012. (Quit due to policy re: running for office)

Why should voters chose you in this election?

I feel my experience and education should be considered. I have been in law enforcement for more than 20 years and have a bachelor's degree in criminal justice from University of South Carolina .

Some key issues I would address would be as follows: 1 )drug enforcement. Zero Tolerance on all illegal drugs,especially crystal methamphetamines, which is a growing concern in our area and statewide. This drug is a serious danger not only to the abuser, but the entire community, and must not be tolerated in Saluda County. 2) Establish strong relationships with other law enforcement agencies, county and local governments, and county and local officials. A good working relationship with these entities is of vital importance in order for the entire criminal justice system to work effectively within the county. 3) Community Policing. This can be accomplished by having officer "visibility" in every section of our county. Not only being seen, but talking with residents, being involved in local events, and establishing or maintaining effective crime watch groups. Also, I will listen to residents and provide common-sense solutions to the issues we face. I will serve and protect Saluda County to the best of my ability. I will also strive for a higher percentage of convictions in magistrate and general sessions court. This can be done by focusing on making better cases to present to the prosecutor, attorney, judge and jury. The collection of evidence, follow-up investigations and proper paperwork is vital for each investigation. I also would like to make it a priority to instill good morals and ethics within the department. My top priorities are to God and family and a commitment to Saluda county.