January 13, 2011
Dear Weber County Citizens:
I would like to respond to questions about a letter that I addressed to Weber County Sheriff's Office Members.
I have made no secret during my campaign that I believe in God and that this country was created with divine help. The letter that I wrote and shared with office members was meant to improve agency morale by ensuring that employees understand that they are engaged in far more than "just a job". Their service within the Sheriffs Office as they serve their fellow man is also service to their God in "whatever form they picture him" as stated in the original text which leaves this wide open to their personal interpretation.
The founding fathers of our country referenced God, a supreme being or creator, many times as evidenced in the Declaration of Independence and other famous writings. Moreover, our Declaration of Independence reads:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their "Creator" with certain "Unalienable" rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Our nations motto is "in God we trust" which is imprinted on our currency; we pledge allegiance to our Country "under God". I believe that I am in good company and will gladly stand with our founding fathers any time.
I want our wonderful employees to know that they are doing the right thing by being prepared each day to face the awesome challenges that law enforcement officers may face, including those decisions that have profound effects on communities and individuals. Our office members and "law enforcement" are held to a higher standard and rightfully so. It may help employees to recognize a higher power at work in their lives. It is my hope that an individual's recognition and sense of obligation to their god, their higher power or their sense of commitment to others will promote humility, gratitude, and a high ethical and moral standard. I have asked Office Members to garner an "Attitude of Gratitude" in their daily service.
I believe a higher power at work in their lives promotes such an attitude.
The question becomes one of "Do we treat employees or the public differently based on different views?" The answer is certainly No! Employees and the public we serve have varied personal beliefs.
Members of the Weber County Sheriffs Office and I respect others personal beliefs. The diversity of thought and beliefs is one of our greatest strengths. That said, neither my personal beliefs nor those of my staff are allowed to dictate our policies and actions. When I evaluate each office member I consider each office member's interaction with those we serve, specifically in their work performance. All of our employees are judged based on the following criteria: do they love their job - enjoy working here; do they treat others as they would want to be treated; do they fulfill their duties and responsibilities; and do they support the goals of this office.
Sheriff Terry L. Thompson
Weber County Sheriff