TOLEDO Each week leading up to the primary, 13abc will be talking one on one with the candidates for one of the most hotly contested seats -- Lucas County Sheriff.
This week it is Maurice Morris, who is running in the primary for the Democratic nomination in March.
Morris is currently a safety officer at a Toledo library but did spend almost 12 years as a Sheriff's Deputy in Lucas County. 13abc posed the same questions that we'll be asking all the candidates for this office.
First and most pressing is the new jail. Morris says, "Of course we need a new jail, and the citizens of Lucas County have spoken, and they want the jail to stay downtown.
"I would like to see the new jail house at least 1,000 inmates because of some of the situations in and around the county -- opioids, human sexual trafficking."
According to the current Sheriff John Tharp, the department is in need of filling up to 125 positions. Morris says, "The overtime is chronic, and that's a staffing issue. I would like to look at all the departments within the Sheriff's Office and find out where all of the overtime is going."
That takes recruiting, which is something Morris says can be expanded and helped with higher pay.
"We can also move outside the county, we can also move outside the state to do some recruiting via social media, radio, and newspaper to bring in new employees," Morris said.
On the topic of the heroin/opioid epidemic, Morris says he will continue the Drug Abuse Response Task Force, or DART, and he would add to it.
"A hot line for anyone that wants to report someone selling illicit drugs. An incentive if the person was convicted and arrested. We would give an award," Morris said.