After reading John O'Connell's letter to the editor, I agree. The members of the sheriff's office are public service employees, they are to protect and serve. Safety is No. 1!
On a recent "Today Show" they were advising what one should do if leaving town. One suggestion was to contact your local police department and ask them to made additional rounds in your neighborhood, to help deter crime... and it is a free service.
I do not expect them to take officers away from crime areas; but when you do see officers, two by two, and it's not a change of shift, one would hope that additional rounds could be ordered instead of possible chit-chat time.
Another suggestion is for officers to know the rules and regulations of the communities they patrol, specifically with regards to trespass on private property.
Our neighbor recently had an issue and when the officer responded, all he could say was "they were doing no harm, they were just fishing," even though our homeowners association has "no trespass" and "no fishing" signs posted.