Cliffside Standoff—Deputy calls for outside help; Sheriff Chris Francis calls TV station

Once again the Sheriff’s department can’t handle a suicidal one-person standoff. The deputy on the scene called for help from other counties to respond to a standoff in Cliffside. The Sheriff gave an interview to a local television station.

This is almost the same scenario that occurred in Bostic a few months ago under the sheriff’s watch. Henderson County came to aid in that standoff. Obviously the sheriff had done nothing to better prepare his team for such emergencies.

If the Sheriff can not lead in a one-person suicide standoff, how in the world is he going to lead an “active shooter” response in any one of our schools? Why did he not take the leadership role in preparing for these kind of crisis situations? If his role is to simply take credit for crisis management, then we need a new sheriff.

Over the last eight years of Francis’ tenure we have had:

  • two hangings in jail cells when guards did not follow the guidelines for suicide watch prisoners
  • one death by hanging in detention center. Per the News-Observer, Rutherford County Sheriff Chris Francis declined to be interviewed about the inmate deaths. His office did report that Miller’s family received a $9,000 settlement.
  • two incidents of inmates being mistakenly released early
  • jail supervisor misused funds to purchase gift cards
  • two suicidal standoffs requiring outside county assistance
  • one standoff with suicidal man where deputies shot one of their own
  • sheriff departmental personnel driving down the wrong way of a one-way street narrowly missing a car head-on in at least two incidents
  • steroid investigation that didn’t result in proper punishment of deputies
  • refusal to take an incident report from a WOFF ex-member
  • no transparency and unwillingness to share information
  • former 911 supervisor who spent 2 hours of duty time watching a magistrate trial that she had no part in
  • detective who interfered in two emergency calls
  • deputy stopped for DUI
  • 911 director involved with counterfeit goods in personal business
  • Deputy dressed in gangster apparel stopped by two different law enforcement branches with felon. Admitted marijuana use. Still employed as deputy.’
  • Mishandled or did not investigate Word of Faith reports of abuse
  • mismanagement of Animal Control Facility

It’s time for a new sheriff – someone with skills and experience.