Opinion: When elected officials keep their campaign promises

Jul 3, 2023

To the editor: Former Attleboro Mayor Paul Heroux, and now Sheriff of Bristol County, made various promises during a hard fought battle to unseat Thomas Hodgson.  Knocking on thousands of voters’ doors, attending many privately sponsored meet and greets, and zooming with various committees and organizations, Heroux consistently indicated that he would concentrate his energy and resources to providing rehabilitative programs and medical services for the incarcerated, improving the working and promoting system for the staff, commence the process of shuttering the antiquated Ash Street Jail, and be ever mindful of taxpayers’ expenses.  And most significantly Heroux promised a true analysis of any instituted programs and procedures with transparency the guiding principle.

Within the first six months Heroux contracted to have the high suicide rate investigated by a leading expert, re-organized the upper tier of management with the reassignment of staff for more efficiency and increased employee morale, eliminated expensive costs and programs unrelated to a sheriff’s mandated responsibility, brought on new well trained recruits for direct correctional work,and has assiduously studied the structural changes that will maximize the safety of the incarcerated and staff.  This very week the sheriff announced the reduction in cost for commissary food and goods,making items more affordable, accessible, and a relief to the families that subsidize these purchases.  Additionally, the monies accumulated will be utilized exclusively for the benefit of the men and women incarcerated.

Having studied and experienced the workings of correctional jails, Heroux understands that maintaining an efficient and productive system will serve the community by lowering recidivism by preparing for the reentry of the incarcerated, lower the staff resignations, and by redirecting taxpayers’ funds for their intended purposes will increase safety inside and outside the correctional facilities. 

Betty Ussach