To the editor:
Sheriff Michael Downing has brought many positive changes to the sheriff’s office.
The Rockingham County Sheriff’s Office consists of four divisions: patrol, communications, court services, and warrants. Sheriff Downing has each division focused on public safety to protect and to serve.
Sheriff Downing has created a narcotics tip line that has been very successful with the war on drugs in Rockingham County. Sheriff’s deputies under the direction of Sheriff Downing have made several narcotics buys from drug dealers that resulted in many arrests. Sheriff Downing was also instrumental in acquiring thousands of dollars in federal funds under the drug forfeiture program from the many drug arrests made.
Sheriff Downing, seeing a need to fight sexual predators, has deputies teamed with local police departments, deputizing local officers to work Internet crimes against children.
Sheriff Downing participates with the “A Child is Missing Alert Program.” Every 40 seconds a child goes missing. This also helps the elderly (Alzheimer’s), the disabled, and missing adults, too.
Sheriff Downing has recognized the need for enforcing our motor vehicle laws on the highways and roads within the county. He was able to acquire several speed enforcement grants that resulted in over 1,000 motor vehicle stops at no cost to the county taxpayer in order to help keep our roads safe.
Sheriff Downing has taken the leadership role to ensure that county communications is state of the art and up and running. He has spent countless hours in meetings and negotiations making sure Rockingham County is a leader in this service. Sheriff Downing’s Communication Division is responsible for emergency communication 24 hours a day, seven days a week. His dispatch center provides radio communications to 25 police departments and 18 fire/EMS departments.
Sheriff Downing has committed the sheriff’s incident command vehicle to any town that may need this vehicle. During the recent shooting in Greenland with the tragic loss of Chief Maloney, Sheriff Downing loaned out the incident vehicle to Greenland to use as their office for as long as they needed it. He also dispatched deputies to Greenland that patrolled the town in order to help Greenland during that tragic event.