Personal experience has taught McDonald plenty
By Sandi Pullen
Personal experience can teach you a lot, according to Clay McDonald.
"A lot of times things do not mean as much to people until it personally happens to them," he said. "In regards to due process and equal protection of the law, it further instilled the need to me."
McDonald said during the last election, his children were taken away from him without reason or a due process hearing. He was charged with an alleged simple assault for shutting and locking his door from an aggressive intruder, he said.
"My position on things is that unless an officer sees a crime being committed in his presence, there ought to be a thorough fact-finding investigation prior to starting the process," he said.
If you travel through the county, he said, you can see a lot of sheriff's department equipment such as cars sitting in various places for a considerable period of time.
"I think just having a car sitting somewhere is a great expense and is having very little effect on preventing crime," McDonald said. "Anybody in those areas knows that a policeman lives in the house with or without a car there."
Seeing the cars on patrol is a much more effective crime prevention measure, he said.
"I'm a big believer that patrols prevent crime and those officers in those patrols need to be able to perform more functions than just riding around and responding to calls," he said.
If a small amount of drugs is found in a car, he said, the patrol officer should be trained to handle the situation without an investigator having to be called to the scene.
"It's good for everybody," McDonald said. "It gives you a better trained law enforcement officer on the street in more locations. It gives those officers a chance to advance their careers. It's good for them. Good for morale."