My name is Chris Roper and I am running for the office of Santa Rosa County Sheriff. I believe that the citizens of Santa Rosa County deserve the best protection and services from the Sheriff’s Office. In the approaching years the Sheriff’s office will face a number of challenges such budget issues and an increased number of calls for service. The next Sheriff will have to be prepared to streamline administrative functions and have deputies focus their time and energy on being reactive to calls from citizens and being proactive on critical issues such as drugs and service.

I want to make the Sheriff’s Office more transparent on how the department is run, how it spends your tax dollars, and how deputies go about doing their job. It has been an honor and privilege to serve the citizens of Santa Rosa County as a State Trooper for more than 33 years. I have always strived to provide a professional and courteous service to those I came in contact with.

I try to motivate and inspire those I work with to be a positive example of law enforcement. I want to lead the men and women of the Sheriff’s Office in a way that makes Santa Rosa County proud. I also want the men and women who work for the Sheriff’s Office to develop a strong and innovative team to protect and serve the citizens. If elected Sheriff, I will be accountable to you, the citizens.

My theme for this campaign has been “The Time Is Now”. The time is now to restore integrity, respect, and discipline to the Sheriff’s Office. I hold law enforcement officers to a higher standard. Their lives should be an example to others professionally and personally. I want the citizens and employees of the Sheriff’s Office to know that I will manage the office with fairness, equality, and swift and sure discipline when discipline is demanded.

The time is now to re-establish a traffic unit. The traffic unit will investigate traffic crashes and citizens will no longer have to wait for long periods of time for a Trooper to respond. The traffic unit will not only investigate traffic crashes but will actively enforce traffic laws and pursue aggressive drivers. Having a unit that focuses strictly on enforcing traffic laws and pursuing aggressive drivers will potentially reduce the number of traffic crashes and therefore reduce the amount of property damage, injuries, and deaths related to traffic crashes. Some are probably wondering how the traffic unit can be funded. The incumbent disbanded the traffic and failed to renew federal grants. If elected Sheriff I will apply for federal grants and all applicable monies available to help fund this objective.

The time is now to return School Resource Officers to the middle schools full time. Teachers and school staff see the challenges that our children face every day. I feel that middle school students are most impressionable. It is very important to have an officer present on the school grounds who will work side by side with the school staff to address the issues that arise which can interfere with the safety of the school environment. The School Resource Officer will also provide a positive image and example. I will make every effort to make the schools in Santa Rosa County the safest place to learn and play.

The time is now to establish an auxiliary unit. This is a qualified volunteer unit that will provide additional manpower during peak times to prevent criminal activity in high crime areas. The auxiliary unit can also be used in all divisions of the Sheriff’s Office. The auxiliary unit will be at little or no cost to you the tax payer.

If elected Sheriff it will be my privilege to manage a proactive and professional law enforcement office that will be dedicated to protect and serve the citizens of Santa Rosa County. My goal is to continue to improve the Sheriff’s Office and move forward with fresh and innovative ideas. If elected I will stand firm on my core values and ethical beliefs. It is my desire to provide a Sheriff’s Office that the citizens are proud of.

The "Time is Now" to elect me, Chris Roper, as your sheriff on Nov. 6.