A fed-up sheriff was tired of cop haters and abusers, so he decided to send them a message. Not only did he say he wouldn’t tolerate violence against the police, he told anyone considering it exactly what his department would do about it.
After Sheriff Richard Jones of Butler County, Ohio became increasingly fed-up with violence against law enforcement being on the rise around the country, he decided to issue a stern warning to anyone who might think they can get away with it in his county. Taking to the Butler County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page, he sent a bold message to those contemplating violence against cops, and he didn’t hold back.
Getting straight to the point, the post declared in all caps, “IF YOU THINK ABOUT COMING TO BUTLER COUNTY TO ABUSE POLICE THINK AGAIN.” Calling out the “lawlessness” that’s been seen across our country “directed towards police,” the post continued, listing off examples of what law enforcement has been subjected to across our great nation.
“The Sheriff has seen water dumped on police in New York, bricks and frozen water bottles thrown at police as well as officers blinded by lasers in Portland, Oregon,” the post read. “In addition, Police have been shot at in Chicago and all across the country,” the department added before quoting the sheriff and his message to anyone thinking about doing something similar.
“I won’t tolerate it, period,” Sheriff Richard Jones declared. “You shoot at the police expect us to shoot back. I will not allow my deputies or any law enforcement officer in Butler County to take the abuse I have seen over the past several months. If you come to this county expecting a free pass to harm one of my men or women in uniform keep in mind, nothing in life is free.”
Although the news tends to be inundated with anti-police sentiments, those who read Sheriff Jones’ warning on Facebook appeared to solidly stand behind his statement. “Every county in the United States needs more sheriffs like this,” one commenter wrote as many others chimed in to thank him for caring about his citizens and officers.
Most saw the warning for what it was: a declaration that officers will react to violence with force because they have a right to self-defense. “I like the way he thinks,” one such person wrote. “Violence in any form against a Police Officer should not be tolerated and persons committing harm to a Police Officer should expect dire consequences. Police Officers should be allowed to defend themselves without rebuke.”
“It’s about time someone is not afraid to do their job and hold lawbreakers accountable for their actions,” another remarked while yet another wrote, “Backbone !!! Hooray Sheriff, hold strong and keeping the integrity of our law enforcement community. Godspeed to them all.” But, it was those from Butler County who seemed to express the most support for the sheriff’s remarks.
“I live in Butler County. [Sheriff] Jones is for real. He is a good man. DO NOT mess with him or his department,” one local warned as another added, “Always like Sheriff Jones when we lived in the area, my respect for him has actually increased immensely. This country needs MORE SHERIFFS just like him.”
This isn’t the first time Sheriff Richard Jones has openly spoken his mind, and he doesn’t seem to care about what controversy his opinions might spark. Proving this to be true, Jones openly disagreed with a mask-wearing mandate from Governor Mike DeWine during the fight against the coronavirus. Saying he was “not the mask police,” Jones told the public that he wouldn’t help enforce the mandate because it was not his responsibility or his job. Instead, he felt “people should be able to make that choice themselves,” he said at the time.
Regardless of whether or not you agree with his sentiments, it is nice to see a sheriff who isn’t afraid to speak up or let others know exactly where he stands and what his community can expect from him and his department. Like most sheriffs across the country, Jones holds an elected position. Because he’s open and honest about what he will and won’t do as sheriff, voters can decide whether he continues in his role. Since he became Chief of the Butler County Sheriff’s Office in 1993, it appears he has his community’s support.