Opinion: Sheriff Paul Heroux has hit the ground running

Feb 22, 2023

To the editor:

During far too many campaign seasons candidates make promises that they hope will get them elected, but too soon thereafter forget or forego implementing those changes.  Paul Heroux, from day one, has been self reporting on Facebook daily, and the media has been spotlighting the various meetings, actions, and studies initiated  by Heroux to make the Bristol County correctional system more efficient, safe and fiscally responsible. 

The suicides, low staff retention rates, inadequate and unnecessarily expensive food services and the dearth of rehabilitative and medical  services are getting the attention that various groups have clamored for during the many years of Hodgson’s tenure.

Heroux is methodical and open to suggestions from the staff,the incarcerated, their families and professionals who are experienced and have no ulterior motive other than improving the system.

Heroux has provided tours of the Ash Street jail to various legislators, and citizen groups, allowing staff, and any incarcerated person, to answer questions.  And most importantly Sheriff Heroux has acknowledged that the jail is too old and expensive to be utilized beyond the time it takes to provide well planned and adequate accommodations for those transferred to the Faunce Corner facilities.

It was reported that Heroux donated the huge command center vehicle to the New Bedford Police that was a show piece at every local parade since acquired by Hodgson.  Rarely used for any community safety threat the vehicle became a symbol of waste, a misdirected fund allocation, and an ego boost for Hodgson.

The police chief in New Bedford was much appreciative and has promised to share its use with other police departments in Bristol County.

The voters and supporters who elected Heroux are encouraged and know that even those who may have voted otherwise will witness a significantly more efficient and  fiscally prudent operation, that will lower the recidivism rate, provide the incarcerated with the tools and incentive to become more productive members of society and introduce a true merit system that will induce more recruits and retain satisfied employees.

We truly have a new sheriff in town.

Betty Ussach,