To the editor: Sheriff Thomas Bowler’s professionalism is a testament to years of good management, good staffing decisions, efficient use of the facilities, treating inmates and families with a personal touch, and above all respect.

I’ve been an emergency room nurse going on 24 years, and I have had a firsthand view of the inmates, guards, contractors and family members of the incarcerated (including in my family). I assure you I have the utmost respect for Tom Bowler. His down-to earth demeanor and ability to empower those who work with him are, in my opinion, the key to his success.

I have watched Tom engage with the community and groups of concerned citizens, including groups of parents, addicts and alcoholics, those who have lost loved ones to drugs and alcohol and violence, officers of the court and probation, some from personal experience. While it is never easy and always stressful to engage with the legal system, Sheriff Bowler brought incarceration into an era of community service versus the “penal system” I remember well under his predecessor.

I believe Tom Bowler brought us out of the dark ages and into the 21st century as relates to civility and humanity at the Berkshire Jail and House of Correction. Why would anyone want to take a step backward for an unproven candidate? That leaves me speechless.

The operation at the HOC treats the whole inmate — physical evaluation, psychological needs, addressing drug and alcohol use (the main driver of crime) and, for many, their first legal involvement — hopefully their last.

Sean Connors, Washington