Dedicated to Sarah Phillips

Words to Live By

An open letter to Orange County Sheriff Kevin Beary


I can be very hard-headed and an impulsive person. I have a strong sense of direction and am confident in my beliefs. From what I have learned about you, I believe that you are somewhat like this as well. As the contemptuousness of our lawsuit becomes further removed, I have begun to think hard about how to best enter into a new and productive relationship with you and the Orange County Sheriff's Office. I think we can both agree that this tragic case cannot be summed up with over simplifications like "The Sheriff killed my daughter." or "The bad guys killed your daughter." Let the questions and comments I will soon present to you be a starting point for a continuing examination of an evolving pursuit policy in Orange County—a policy that enhances public safety, with a minimum of interference with your sworn duty. I would be proud to reflect one day that this was the day that you, and Orange County, Florida, took the lead on this issue and became a model for law enforcement agencies throughout the United States, and the day when Sarah made her mark on history. I would be proud to hear back from you.
Jim Phillips, April 18, 2003

Sheriff Beary appeared on Bud Hedinger Live! (540AM) on Monday, April 21, said he received my email (as above) and that he and I would have a meeting. I received shortly after his appearance, an email from Jim Solomons of the OCSO Media Relations Department advising that someone from the Sheriff's office would be in contact to set up the meeting. —Jim Phillips

May 2, 2003 I have heard from Chief Jones in the sheriff's office and the meeting is set for May 28, 2003. Thank you, Sheriff Beary.