Frank Balles, Republican candidate for Atlantic County Sheriff, today was endorsed by the New Jersey Organization for Latino Law Enforcement who said Balles? background and experience ?would be a tremendous asset to the citizens you would be sworn to serve.?

Balles, a Captain in the Pleasantville Police Department, received the statewide group?s endorsement at a news conference at the office of the County Sheriff in Mays Landing.

In the letter of endorsement to Balles, Det. William Gonzalez, president of the organization, said:

?Your strong law enforcement experience, commitment to the Atlantic County residents, your vision for continuous improvement of services and your interpersonal skills make you the only choice to serve as Atlantic County Sheriff. Your distinguished public career spans more than 22 years. As a police officer, you have distinguished yourself as a passionate advocate, yet earned a reputation as a tough, fair-minded advocate of justice and the rule of law.

?You have proven yourself over the years to be a man of great character, talent and intellect. As citizens of Atlantic County weigh the qualifications of the candidates, my colleagues and I urge the citizens to support a much needed change and cast their votes for you.?

The group was also sharply critical of incumbent Sheriff Jim McGettigan who the organization described as insensitive to the minority community.

Balles said he was ?proud to receive the endorsement of my fellow officers and at the confidence they have placed in me to serve as the chief elected law enforcement officer in the county.?

Balles began his career as a street patrolman and rose through the ranks to assume management, administrative and command positions, including serving as Acting Chief.

As Sheriff, he has pledged to reinstate supplemental patrols by department officers to assist municipal police departments throughout the county and to create a K-9 unit to serve in the fight against illegal narcotics trafficking.



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