By KATHY CHANG
MIDDLESEX COUNTY — Two candidates are vying for the Middlesex County sheriff position that is available in the upcoming election: Democrat incumbent Mildred Scott will face Republican challenger Peter “Pedro” Pisar in the race.
Scott, who is seeking her third, three-year term as sheriff, is a 43-year resident of Piscataway.
She is a graduate of the Middlesex County Police Academy and a retired chief sheriff’s officer.
“As sheriff, I would like to continue to run an efficient and effective office as well as work on community awareness,” she said.
Scott said she would like to continue to work on the Civilian Academy she started, which teaches residents 18 years and older about the duties and responsibilities of the Sheriff’s Office.
“Furthermore, I would like to take that model and modify it for the youth of the county by introducing a Youth Explorer as well as a D.A.R.E (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) program,” she said.
Pisar, who is seeking his first term as sheriff, is a 45-year resident of Middlesex County. He currently resides in South Amboy where he has lived for 12 years.
Pisar served in the U.S. Army and is a retired Middlesex County Sheriff’s Officer. He is a member of Dunellen Jaycees, assisting with various drug recovery programs in the county.
Pisar said he is running for the sheriff position because he shares the same views as many of the voters he has been fortunate enough to meet along the campaign trail.
“The Sheriff’s Office lacks the leadership needed to address the important issues that are affecting the residents of Middlesex County,” he said. “These include illegal guns, crime and drugs.”
Pisar said, in addition, he believes the department is mired in mismanagement and does not operate at its full potential.
“There are about 150 excellent officers who are more than capable of making our county safer, but they need the right leadership and support,” he said.
Pisar said the county’s heroin/opioid problem is out of control.
“A recent study by the state showed a 420 percent increase in heroin-related deaths in Middlesex County, while New Jersey witnessed a 155 percent spike,” he said.
Pisar said any percentage increase is too much, and the county clearly has not done enough to combat the problem.
“I introduced a comprehensive strategy called “The Pisar Plan,” which addresses the criminal component of the issue, education, workforce development and support for those who want treatment,” he said. “All of us need to look at this not as a drug problem, but a human problem.”
Polls will be open from 6 a.m.-8 p.m. Nov. 8.
Contact Kathy Chang at email@example.com.