A recent Rasmussen poll found that 62% of likely U.S. voters believe the rate of violent crime is getting worse in America.

Former Navy SEAL Jared Hudson is running for sheriff of Jefferson County — which contains some of the state’s most crime-ridden cities — and he believes the rising trend can be reversed with the right leadership.

“It’s too bad. We see what making crime a political issue does. It winds up not dealing with it,” Hudson said on Tuesday’s episode of Rightside Radio. “It’s in the name ‘law enforcement.’ That’s the job of law enforcement agencies around the nation to enforce the law and to interpret that law to make sure that it does not impede on the Constitution or the constitutional rights of the citizens … The job of law enforcement is not to be political. It’s to enforce the law and uphold the Constitution.”

Hudson said overt politicization might be part of the reason crime has been on the rise across the country.

“I think that’s why we’re seeing the wheels fall off the bus nationally. It’s because they haven’t been doing that,” he said. “They’re obtuse to the fact that they're law enforcement and shouldn’t be pushing a political narrative.”

As an elected executive position, Hudson said the sheriff can have a significant impact, good or bad, on crime.

“It’s either going to be positive or negative impact depending on who you have in that office, and I believe the current guy’s been doing a bad job,” he said. "That’s why Jefferson County is the most dangerous county by far in the state of Alabama.”

Hudson said he believes he could have a positive impact as sheriff by simply “going after crime” and “targeting criminals.” He also said he would be looking to increase recruitment, which has fallen from 571 deputies in 2018 to 278 currently.

“That’s a national narrative problem, but that’s also a leadership problem," he said. "The fact of the matter is, people follow — especially people in law enforcement and the military — they follow courage, they follow action.”

Hudson said leaders could “generate a true following” by not putting people in positions or scenarios they themselves would be unwilling to be in.

“I’ve either done it, or I’m definitely still willing to do it," he said.

He said he also intends to use his business experience to increase recruitment and retention and quality of life for deputies. Hudson said he’s spoken with many current Jefferson County deputies who say they plan to vote for him over their current boss in the upcoming election.

“I’ve been told that from deputies in the sheriff’s office that 90 to 95% of them are supportive of me … That says something about your leader right there when the men and women who fall under that leader are telling me, ‘Hey, we need new leadership.’”

To connect with the author of this story, or to comment, email daniel.taylor@1819news.com.

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