Well, 1234... Lt. Gerow has a good friend in you. It's good to see a friend standing up for the honor of a friend in need.
You state that Mr. Gerow did the county a service, using his own helicopter. This should be very easy to prove by consulting the flight logs for the aircraft and providing details of the missions flown on behalf of the county.
You state that Mr. Gerow had a talent that no one else had. While not a "dime a dozen", there are many skilled helicopter pilots with military, commercial AND law enforcement training. I'm certain that former Sheriff Causey would have employed ordinary diligence and would have advertised for the position. It should be easy for the Sheriff's office to produce the document trail leading up to the creation of Mr. Gerow's job and satisfy that a transparent hiring process did take place. If this job assignment was in the form of a reward for extraordinary public service and volunteerism, Mr. Gerow's flight records would substantiate that.
Now that the county has its own helicopter, the Sheriff should publish the records of its missions paying particular attention to the law enforcement role that these missions played in terms of achieving the mission of his department, to protect and serve. Did the helicopter assist in rescue of anyone? Did it assist in a drug interdiction? Did it assist in recovering stolen property?
In business and management we always have to account for our accomplishments to justify our compensation... as a voter and taxpayer, be assured that I will be looking closely at the accomplishments of this department before I vote for the continuation of this sheriff.
As to Mr. Gerow's rank: the rank of lieutenant carries management / supervisory responsibility and command authority. In the ordinary law enforcement paradigm, this rank in conferred after significant additional education and often years of experience. Mr. Gerow and the citizens of New Hanover County have been blessed that he did not botch a command decision in the field. While my corporate helicopter pilot is highly respected, he is not by any means a part of senior management.
Finally, your closing comment that drunk driving and spouse assaults happen every day, to this I say "so what". The character I look for in a law enforcement officer is personal restraint and sober good judgment.
You can help answer the question of whether former Lt. Gerow is a dedicated public servant who is the victim of a misunderstanding blown out of proportion or an intemperate loose cannon who did the taxpayers a favor by quitting.
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