Posted: Oct 9, 2012 9:53 PM by Katy Harris KXLF News
Sheriff John Walsh and Detective Lieutenant Ed Lester shared their background with community members and the Senior Class at Butte Central High School.
The candidates were asked what their views are on introducing an open container law.
Both candidates say they would support an open container law in Butte, but managing and enforcing it could be a whole other ball game.
"If we were to have an open container law, we'd most likely reduce the number of vandalisms, the number of thefts, the number of littering that goes on in the uptown area. The fact of the matter is, we do not have one. I support it, I brought it up to the people's attention, and I can tell you right now I was kind of taken aback by the lack of support from the community," said Walsh.
"The first time people show up in Butte on St. Patrick's Day and they get thrown in the back of a police car and there's 10,000 other people consuming beverages-we don't have room for 10,000 people in our jail so it's got to be conducted and done properly. If it is I would be supportive of it and I would certainly be cooperative with the council of commissioners in drafting such an ordinance," said Lester.
Both candidates say finances would be a tough topic as Sheriff this next term.
Sheriff Walsh says he would issue grants and use money from booking fees to add more police officers to the force.
Walsh said, "We can't afford to go backwards. We are going to try to stay as possibly positive as we can and it's imperative that we do that through the process of getting grants and fees."
Lester says he would crack down on crime in Butte-Silver Bow County and that in return could attract people to the area. Lester says, "One of the things everybody does is get on the internet and see what's at the community you're headed for and if the crime rate is higher, that's going to be a black mark against us."
Walsh says he would like to start a mental health court if elected for next term.
Lester says he would like to lower the child distress rate in Butte.