Ocean County Dems Select Armstrong to Run for Sheriff’s Post
Another candidate receives his party's nomination to run for the Ocean County Sheriff's post.
The Ocean County Democratic Party has thrown its support behind Colonel Bob Armstrong who boost 40 years in federal, state and military criminal investigation experience.
Armstrong says "one of my goals would be to consolidate the jail .. Corrections Department with the Sheriff's Department. We could cross-train the Sheriff's Officers and the Corrections Officers so they could be used either way." He says the move would cut down on administrative cost as well as overtime cost.
He cites drug and gang activity as the biggest threats facing towns in Ocean County, like in Lakewood. He also adds that crime, like burglaries, is up substantially in Toms River. Armstrong believes the Sheriff's Department, should be out patrolling more like a Police Force to help local Police deter crime. "For instance ... the Toms River Police Department only has full law enforcement authority in the Township of Toms River but the Sheriff's Officers have full law enforcement authority through out Ocean County and could be a big force multiplier.
When asked what he thinks about Acting Sheriff William Sommeling? Armstrong called him a very nice gentleman who served before as Under Sheriff. "But I think possibly it's time for a change because we have the same ole, same ole. We have the same culture there now whether it's Bill Sommeling sitting in as the Acting Sheriff or Bill Polhemus. Nothing's changed and nothing changes. The only way things are going to change in Ocean County if we get a new Sheriff."
Armstrong also criticizes the decision of the Ocean County Freeholders to expand the Ocean County Jail in Downtown Toms River. He says the jail is now classified a maximum security prison and its right next to Toms River High School South, near the Ocean County Library and professional offices and buildings. "It's really outrageous that they decided to build it here when Ocean County's the second largest county by area in the state of New Jersey." He says if he's elected Sheriff he would look into relocating the Ocean County Jail.
Armstrong says adamantly that the Sheriff's Office is a law enforcement job. He says he doesn't see it as a political job at all. He says if elected he won't be there to please town Mayors or the County Freeholders. He says "I want to do the best law enforcement job he can do for the citizens of Ocean County."
Toms River Police Chief Mike Mastronardy runs on the Republican ticket.