What experience do you have in law enforcement?
I started my law enforcement career in 1968. I have worked in every phase of operations in the sheriff's office, including patrol, dispatch, jail, civil process, investigations, drug enforcement and administration. During the past 34 years, I have been a supervisor and an administrator.
In the capacity of administrator, my duties have included overseeing personnel, managing department operations, preparing multimillion dollar budgets for both the sheriff's office and jail, and monitoring jail operations.
I retired as a lieutenant after 32 years with Leavenworth police. During his time I supervised the Detective Division, Drug Unit, Training Division and Community Services Division. After retirement, I served as chief of police for six years, supervising 24 police officers. Degrees: Regional Center for Criminal Justice, Basic Law Enforcement, Kansas City, Mo., Police Department; Hazardous Devices School, Redstone Arsenal, Huntsville, Ala,; National Training Center for Polygraph Science, New York City; Federal Bureau of Investigation National Academy, 166th Session, Quantico, Va.; Law Enforcement Executive Development Course, Lawrence; Administration of Criminal Justice, Kansas City Kansas Community College; and taken state and federal law enforcement classes.
Areas of the county that are less populated still require law enforcement services. How do you propose to ensure these areas are properly patrolled and protected?
Being a county resident, I know response time is important to all citizens. As an administrator, we have to look at calls for service, where crimes are occurring and time of the day. Patrol areas have to be continually monitored and available assets assigned accordingly. There are many ways to ensure coverage: one example might be to stagger work shifts. By doing so, more officers would be available during peak times. Working with all department employees to come up with solutions is important. I believe deputies, if allowed to address this issue, would come up with a workable solution.
I have established additional patrol districts based on crime trends. I have increased the number of officers on patrol. In addition, I have assigned additional officers to the detective division to assist in follow-up investigations.
When I took office I established the position of public information officer, who would serve as a liaison between the sheriff's office and the media, as well as the citizens.
All of these measures have helped to provide more protection for outlying areas. I will continue to explore other avenues, as needed, to meet the needs of all county residents.
What differentiates you from your opponent?
I won't micromanage them to where deputies became frustrated, afraid to take initiative. This management indicates lack of trust in subordinate officers. Failure to empower subordinates stifles creativity, job knowledge and professional development, which in turn causes seasoned officers to seek employment with other agencies. I'll be an advocate, not an adversary, of the people under my command. Deputies who work hard and do a good job should be commended and rewarded, even if they might disagree with policies of leadership. Good leaders learn from people who hold different viewpoints, and surround themselves with people who'll challenge them to excellence, not just maintain the status quo.
Unlike my opponent, who was a Leavenworth police officer, I have spent nearly my entire career in the sheriff's office. I currently serve as sheriff and manage more than 100 employees.
Unlike my opponent, I have experience in managing a county jail and preparing a multimillion dollar budget.
I am a strong, dedicated leader, who works hard for the citizens of this county.