December 12, 2020

On November 3rd, 2020, Deputies participated in their annual shift bid as allowed in their MOU they have with Jackson County and the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office. The bid was done in accordance with the MOU which had been agreed upon by all parties involved at the beginning of the contract period.

Deputies made arrangements for child care and other family matters in preparation to the positions they bid.

Over one month later, on December 7th, 2020, Sheriff Forté put out a transfer list that was in direct violation of the MOU and forced certain Deputies to positions they did not bid. This same order disbanded the Professional Standards Unit (Internal Affairs) as well as the Special Operations Response Team. Furthermore, Sheriff Forté moved Deputies into positions such as the Investigations Unit, that require an application processes so that all Deputies who qualify for the positions get a chance to apply. This too is in direct violation of the MOU.

Sheriff Forté continually advises that he has “management rights” under Article 3 of the MOU. While the MOU does afford certain management rights to Sheriff Forté, the agreement also states under Article 3 that management rights are “Subject to all other terms of this agreement”.

On December 8th, 2020, Sheriff Forté made a post on the Sheriff’s Office Facebook page that claims yet again that there are racist within law enforcement and they are protected by “peers, collective bargaining groups and racist leaders.” Since Sheriff Forté’s tenure as the Jackson County Sheriff, not one employee has been fired for racism let alone racial profiling. This statement is an outright attack on the Jackson County Deputies Association which is a collective bargaining group and being made without any evidence to support his allegations.

These statements were made by Sheriff Forté as a play against anyone who opposed or filed grievance against these transfers which are a blatant breach of the MOU.

We are absolutely appalled and disappointed in Sheriff Forte’s erroneous allegations as well as the blatant disregard for an agreement that the Jackson County Deputies Association has with Jackson County and the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office.

Sincerely,
The Jackson County Deputies Association Executive Board