To the editor: I am writing this letter in full support of the reelection of our Sheriff Tom Bowler.

Tom is a recognized leader within the corrections community, as well as the public safety and emergency management arenas. As we know, his primary job is to provide a clean and safe facility for the folks incarcerated at the Berkshire County Jail and House of Correction. With that, providing programs that will help inmates productively transition back into their communities to include adult basic education, vocational trainings and substance abuse programming, just to name a few.

Tom has been helping inmates turn their lives around since he was first elected in 2010. And while serving those at BCHC, there is another incredibly valuable service that Tom and his staff provide to all of us. Under his leadership, the Sheriff’s Department is a tremendous asset to public safety and emergency management departments up and down the county. The Sheriff’s Office website — bcsoma.org — clearly shows what he has built.

When I was mayor of North Adams, just days after the hospital closed in March 2014, our communication towers on the Mohawk Trail blew over during a windstorm. All of Northern Berkshire lost cell service along with communication for all emergency services and first responders. Police, fire and EMTs could only communicate via hand-held radios. This severely limited communication between departments and communities. As the hospital had just closed, we could not communicate at all with Berkshire Medical Center. Tom heard of our plight and mobilized their field communications vehicle with operators and located it in a strategic position whereby emergency communications were restored within hours.

Several times in the city when we needed additional neighborhood patrols, Sheriff Bowler would send units to assist our police department. During other weather and emergency events, Tom was the first person to call and offer staff and equipment such as command vehicles, light towers and more. Our sheriff provides these assets up and down the entire county.

Sheriff Tom Bowler is a man of great character and commitment. He serves those sent to his facility with care and respect and his commitment to his greater community, goes well beyond the walls of BCHC. He is a true public servant committed to the safety of all the residents of Berkshire County. Please join me in voting for and reelecting our sheriff, Tom Bowler.

Dick Alcombright, North Adams