Re-elect Southwick as sheriff

Written by Baker City Herald Editorial Board October 29, 2012 09:28 am

Mitch Southwick has earned a third term as Baker County’s top law enforcement official.

Southwick has been an effective administrator — one so respected by his peers that they elected him as president of the Oregon State Sheriffs’ Association in 2008.

Southwick has not been content, though, to manage from his office.

We appreciate his willingness to get involved in search and rescue efforts, to regularly visit outlying cities, and to be an active member of his community through the Lions Club and other outlets.

In addition to overseeing the sheriff’s office, Southwick is responsible for the Baker County Jail and the Parole and Probation Department.

We also find Southwick’s no-nonsense attitude refreshing.

Although he has maintained a good working relationship with the county commissioners, Southwick points out, and rightly so, that “my boss is the people of Baker County. I don’t work for the commissioners — I can oppose them if I want.”

Southwick’s opponent, Dee Gorrell, has impressive law enforcement credentials, including experience with the Baker County Sheriff’s Office.

But Southwick’s resumé is longer still — including 28 years with the Oregon State Police, 18 of those years as a supervisor or manager, before he “retired” and was elected in 2004 as sheriff.

More importantly, though, Southwick has proved his ability to perform his current job at a high level, and expressed his eagerness to continue doing so for four more years.