The residents of Cumberland County have a great opportunity to elect a sheriff in the upcoming June primary and, ultimately, in November who truly defines “leader”: Mike Edes of Cumberland.

Any organization’s most valuable assets are its employees. They are the fabric of the organization that allows the mission to be accomplished to the highest level of success possible.

Here is where the residents of Cumberland County have the opportunity to put in place great leadership. As retired chief of the state police, and currently executive director of the Maine State Troopers Association, I have had the opportunity and privilege of working with and for Mike.

No matter what the situation, Mike’s concern, first and foremost, was the welfare of other officers and getting the law enforcement mission accomplished through cooperation and collaboration with folks inside and outside of the state police.

Mike knows that in order to achieve that optimal level of service, you need a highly motivated professional team with high morale. His leadership skills and qualities will create an environment for that to happen.

Mike worked tirelessly in law enforcement for more than three decades and has honed his leadership skills well. The status quo was never good enough, and Mike brought many forward-thinking solutions to the table.

He brought collaboration rather than adversity to the labor table during his 16 years as president of the Maine State Troopers Association. I saw this from both sides of the table, having worked in both labor and management roles with Mike.

Not to be overlooked, and what I consider to be one of Mike’s best traits, is his positive, “can-do” attitude and his respect for other people.

You will be well served by electing Mike Edes as your next sheriff.

Craig A. Poulin