Posted: Nov 6, 2012 5:06 PM by Katy Harris KXLF News
Updated: Nov 6, 2012 5:14 PM
BUTTE - A Butte native with over 20 years law enforcement experience is challenging his boss for a chance to be the Butte-Silver Bow sheriff.
Ed Lester has worked his way up the ranks as the Detective Lieutenant for the Butte-Silver Bow Law Enforcement Department. He knows the Mining City like the back of his hand.
John Walsh is running for his fourth term as Butte Silver Bow Sheriff. He was also born and raised in Butte and has almost 40 years law enforcement experience.
Both candidates have recently been asked their views on introducing an open container law. They 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 vandalism, the number of thefts, the number of littering that goes on in the uptown area. 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," says Sheriff Walsh.
"The first time people show up in Butte to have a few beers 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," says 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 and start a mental health court.
Lester says he would crack down on crime in Butte-Silver Bow County and that in return could attract people to the area and he would like to lower the child distress rate in Butte.