My name is Freyja Odinsdottir.

I am running for sheriff of Denton County because I believe in a better kind of law enforcement. I believe in the principles of policing by consent, that the authority of law enforcement should come not from intimidation and fear of punishment, but from the community wanting it to be there. I want to direct the efforts and resources of the Sheriff’s Office away from the prosecution and arrest of victimless crimes like low-level drug offenses, criminal trespass of the homeless and consensual sex work toward worthy causes like stopping human and drug trafficking; and better community engagement as a deterrent to theft and burglary.

I want to change the way training is done, increasing the emphasis on cultural sensitivity and diversity, critical thinking and verbal de-escalation. I don’t care how good a deputy is at shooting their gun or how good they are at Brazilian jiu-jutsu; I care about how good they are at verbal judo, at communication and mediation to resolve conflicts without having to take anyone to jail. I want to better equip deputies to be able to respond to individuals in mental health crisis. I want to make sure deputies and officers are also properly trained to deal with people with disabilities — this is critical as well — and especially mental health issues, which can often go overlooked during a crisis.

As a disabled combat veteran, it’s important to me that people with disabilities are treated properly. I know better than many how badly poor treatment can affect ourselves and our loved ones. Because of this, I want to bring the peace officer academy in-house, instead of outsourcing to Denton Police Department, so that we can improve and amend curriculum based on the needs of the county.

My platform is one of accountability, transparency and integrity. I define integrity as doing the right thing when no one else is looking. You cannot make someone have integrity, but if they won’t do the right thing when no one is looking, you have to make sure someone is always looking. That’s why I want more cameras, in every office and break room, and I want every camera accessible by the public, without a mile of red tape and a paywall. That is the transparency.

The accountability comes when we start holding law enforcement to the higher standard they proclaim. If it isn’t OK for a civilian to shoot someone, or to assault or brutalize a person, it certainly shouldn’t be OK for law enforcement, who are supposed to be better trained for those situations. I don’t believe law enforcement should be able to hide behind the wall of qualified immunity. I’ve been in violent and dangerous occupations most of my life, from bouncing in New York City to the Marines to corrections, and I’ve never feared for my life, because I knew there was a good chance I might not go home.

Stand with me. For a better way, for us all — write in Freyja!

FREYJA ODINSDOTTIR is a write-in candidate for the Denton County sheriff’s race in the Nov. 3 general election. Her opponent is incumbent Sheriff Tracy Murphree.

Recommended for you

See what people are talking about at The Community Table!