Doug Baldwin threw his hat into the ring and announced his intentions to run for Escambia County Sheriff. When The Pensacola Voice asked him why he decided to run, this is what he said. “I feel like our community deserves better; in terms of our law enforcement community-leadership, respect, integrity and transparency are the core cornerstones of my campaign.” “People always say to me, Doug you’ve already given 35 years of your life (to law enforcement) why do you want to continue in this evolving evolution of problematic issues? I tell them that I have a divine connection; a feeling of commitment to my community for the last 35 years. I feel like as good men we have to stand up for what is right. And stand against what is wrong. And for a long time, I’ve seen both. And with my commitment, and with my attitude towards my community, I feel like I can bring about genuine change, and genuine relationships in how we interact with our community. I feel that the lack of leadership, and the lack of the ability of our Sheriff to bring our community together creates a void in our leadership at the Sheriff’s office. And I feel that a divine notion that I can do much better for our community.”
In 35 years in this field what experience are you bringing to the table? “Out of my 35 years of service as a Police Officer I have worked in just about every area imaginable. I first started out as a Police Cadet. I came in under a program that was designed to attract minorities into Law Enforcement. During that time there was very little interest from the minority community in law enforcement. This was in 1978. From Police Cadet Baldwin worked his way up to Dispatcher for one year. From there he was promoted to Police Officer. “I was also going to college as well as the Police Academy,” he stated. “I had quite a few irons in the fire.” Over the expansion of my career in law enforcement, I have worked in Community Relations, which was the premier model because at the time we were having so many issues throughout Pensacola”.
Under the leadership of Tim Poe, he was a sergeant at the time, “We were able to establish relations with the people. We set up satellite offices in various areas. We were able to resolve strenuous relations we had at that time. From this experience I went on to lead as a Sergeant in areas in Special Operations, Narcotics Unit, SWAT team, Homeland Security, Dignitary protection for Presidential visits, US Marshall’s Service, I’ve worked what we call Organized Crime Task Force which we concentrated in organize crime concerning drug activity. Think of my experience as unquestionable when it comes to a career in law enforcement. During Hurricane Ivan I represented the city working with Mr. Bonfield, our City Manager, extensively with FEMA. I also worked on the domestic security initiatives and task force for the State of Florida, sitting on several boards, overseeing anti-Terrorism and Domestic Security for the entire State of Florida and worked in Uniform patrol in investigations.”
I see that you are running on the republican ticket, why did you switch? “There were a couple of reasons; in developing our strategic planning, we felt we had a comfortable base-meaning the people that know me here working in Pensacola, particularly the minority community, were supportive. However, we felt our message could not reach out to a larger audience so to speak. So we decided that in order to do that and to be successful in doing that, we had to create a platform where people would actually listen to our message and get that message out to people.”
“Statistically speaking, we felt that that was the best platform for us to run as a Republican so we can reach out to a large number or Escambians so that our message would be heard and we could work for the majority of the people. We do not want to be viewed as a campaign that is for a certain amount of people or a certain segment of people because this campaign is not only about Republican or Democrat. Actually I wish it wasn’t, but unfortunately, the Sheriff’s race is a political race”.
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