Hillsdale County Under­sh­eriff Carl Albright is running for sheriff in the 2020 Election. | Facebook

Hillsdale County Under­sh­eriff Carl Albright is running for sheriff in the 2020 election and promises to improve tech­nology within the department. 

Hillsdale County Sheriff Timothy Parker will not run for reelection in August but has endorsed Albright. 

Albright began working for the Hillsdale County Sheriff Office in 1985 as a cor­rec­tions officer. In 1989, he became a sergeant. Albright has done a little bit of every­thing, as he has worked in every position available in the department and cur­rently runs a $3.5 million budget.

One of Albright’s primary cam­paign focuses is keeping the department’s tech­nology up-to-date while remaining fis­cally responsible. 

“I will find new alter­na­tives to costing tax­payer dollars and keep the office up-to-date,” he said. “We can’t put all that burden on tax­payer dollars.” 

Another issue Albright plans to focus on is inmates who are men­tally ill. 

“We’ve had some serious issues in our jail,” he said. “There are a lot of people in our jail who should not be there, people who are addicted to drugs and have mental issues.” 

The Hillsdale County Dis­trict Court began oper­ating a drug court in 2017, which gives first-time offenders who are addicted to drugs the chance to start over through super­vision and treatment. 

“We give first-time offenders the oppor­tunity to make a change instead of becoming a burden. If we can get them to get off drugs and go clean, they can make a con­tri­bution to society. I’d like to see people who want to have a chance have the chance,” he said. 

As for people who struggle with mental health, the county jail is not the place for them, Albright said. Though the department has a mental health expert come Monday through Friday, Albright said, there is more that needs to be done. 

“We’re doing a ter­rible dis­service to these people,” he said. “That’s some­thing that’s close to my heart to see those people there.” 

Albright pointed out that there are several in jail who are men­tally unfit to stand trial for mis­de­meanor charges, but because the wait to get into a mental facility can take six to eight months, they end up waiting longer to get help than they would serving a maximum sen­tence for their crime.

“We’ve got to do more,” Albright said. “I’m talking with other sheriffs very seri­ously. There’s an outcry for that, and there should be an outcry.” 

Albright cited his 36 years of law enforcement in Hillsdale County as one reason he would serve the public well as the sheriff. 

“I’m very familiar with all oper­a­tions. I’ve ded­i­cated my entire life thus far to law enforcement. I’m invested in this com­munity,” he said. 

Since those who run for sheriff do not have to be in law enforcement, Albright said it’s important to elect someone who knows what they’re doing in times of crisis. 

“I’m the most qual­ified,” Albright said. “You don’t have to be a licensed police officer to be sheriff. The real issue is when you or your family is the victim of the crime, do you want someone inves­ti­gating that to be a licensed police officer?” he asked. 

Parker said it’s important to have a sheriff who has some law enforcement experience. 

“We have 60 to 70 people we are keeping behind these bars. We’re respon­sible for pro­tection in our schools and courts. Do you want someone who’s actually a law enforcement officer?” he asked. 

Albright declined to comment when asked about his mis­conduct, which included forging the city treasurer’s sig­nature on two sep­arate tax doc­u­ments in July 2019.