In this current election cycle it seems that the term experience has dominated the race. I would think that experience and integrity should be given equal weight.

Experience is defined as “direct observation of or participation in events as a basis of knowledge,” “something personally encountered, undergone or lived through.” The conscious events that make up an individual life. I prefer the term “well seasoned.”

Integrity is defined as the practice of being honest and showing consistent and uncompromising adherence to strong moral and ethical principles and values. Integrity evolved from the Latin adjective (integer) meaning whole or complete. In this context, integrity is the inner sense of “wholeness” deriving from qualities such as honesty and consistency of character. I prefer the term “real.”

Now to the point. What do these things have to do with leadership? I have been in the law enforcement business for over 32 years, plus another three years in the service of my country. I have never considered myself a great or even good leader. That’s why I never aspired to those high positions or leadership.

However, I have been blessed with an uncanny ability to spot them. As a 19-year-old Marine in combat, I watched them run into the middle of battle to bring some kind of order to the chaos of men screaming, crying and dying. These were not men with vast years of experience but were well seasoned with experience they had.

I observed law enforcement officers that backed me up no matter what the odds. The ones who could diffuse a volatile situation with an understanding word or two. They were all perfect examples of integrity and experience. In short, they were real and “well seasoned.”

Dave Powers is that kind of man and will be that kind of leader. That is why my vote will be for him on May 21 for Crawford County sheriff.

The above opinion does not reflect the opinions of the Crawford County Sheriff’s Office or the Crawford County government.

JEFFREY A. LEGUARD

Meadville

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