Letter to the editor: Sheriff’s office report ignores staffing, police reform issues


I am writing this to The Chronicle rather than the Lewis County News due to the biased reporting by the self-appointed and seemingly all-knowing editor Lynette Hoffman.

A recent article in the Oct. 11 edition titled “Not safer with Snaza” goes on about how inept the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office (LCSO) was in handling a recent missing person who was located deceased. The situation is sad for all involved to include dispatchers, first responders and especially the family.

Hoffman then takes this sad situation and spins it against the LCSO and specifically Sheriff Rob Snaza. She blames him for dismantling numerous programs such as SWAT, Explorers, JNET (drug task force), reserves, closing a substation, and putting the Lewis County community “at risk” by lowering the coverage (staffing) in the community. Law enforcement regionally and nationally have had to let go of many of the above listed programs due to lack of funding and support from the public, so it is not isolated to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office or Sheriff Snaza’s leadership or lack thereof, as she insinuates.

Hoffman has forgotten about budget cuts that have plagued law enforcement across the state and nation along with political movements that have cut deep into department’s budgets. Departments have had to refocus staffing issues with increased public disclosure demands, increased jail booking fees, implementing new equipment such as body-worn cameras, and mandated training pushed down from lawmakers. Although many of the new additions and trainings are valuable and some long overdue, it comes at a price. Every law enforcement department nationwide has a budget and is responsible to the public for its spending.

So, I ask Hoffman, where should the money come from to put the programs you care about back in place? Maybe whatever little funding your personal paper gets (that isn’t news reporting anyway, rather a personal opinion paper) should be donated to the sheriff’s office. This would free up the mail carrier to deliver donation envelopes rather than the drivel you churn out.


Marc Langlois