Tell us a little about yourself. I moved to Elbert County in 2016 with my wife and son, after retiring from more than 30 years in law enforcement. We bought a ranch in the eastern portion of Elbert …
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Tell us a little about yourself.
I moved to Elbert County in 2016 with my wife and son, after retiring from more than 30 years in law enforcement. We bought a ranch in the eastern portion of Elbert County, and enjoy spending time with our four wonderful horses we rescued after moving to Colorado. I have a degree in criminal justice and police technology, and joined the Phoenix police department after college, where I retired after 30 years with full honors.
What makes you the best choice for sheriff?
I have spent more than 30 years on the front lines, working with citizens on the worst day of their lives, helping them pick up the pieces and sharing their joy on the good days. I have worked in many areas within law enforcement, including lead trainer of the K-9 department, where I was in charge of 18 handlers and their K-9s. I have also served on many boards, including the oral boards and disciplinary review boards. In addition, I have held several titles including president of the Fraternal Order of Police in Phoenix. In my career, I have never sat behind a desk, I have always been on the streets interacting with the public.
How has population growth affected crime in the county?
The biggest issue facing the county is uncontrolled growth, which include traffic, water issues, and the related costs of schools, streets, etc. We can’t stop growth but we can prepare for it one day at a time, by having enough manpower and implementing measures to be ready to deal with the growth and keep the crime to a minimum. We will prepare the department one day at a time. Elbert County is a safe place to live with low crime and I will make sure we are ready going into the future so it stays that way.
How can law enforcement be improved in Elbert County, and how would you approach doing that?
Customer service is very important. My job is to keep the community safe. There are several things that will ensure success for our county, including continuing good working relationships with all the citizens and businesses, having enough deputies to handle the needs of Elbert County, and productive and positive relationships with the surrounding law-enforcement agencies.
I look forward to expanding the posse and the Explorer programs, and I consider school safety of the utmost importance. I have been working on programs we can add to help keep our kids safe. Life Spot, Prepare, Protect, Defend is a new program beginning in October at Elbert School, and I’m looking forward to getting this app program implemented in all Elbert County schools.
Should it be easier to take guns out of the hands of people with mental illness who have been deemed a threat to themselves or others?
Mental health is a huge issue for law enforcement. Law enforcement has to react and take care of people who should be seen by medical personnel. There needs to be a full toolbox of options for our officers to utilize. There are laws preventing the sale and possession of guns by those who suffer mental illness. We need to find new ways to identify those people who are armed and temporarily disarm them or transfer the firearms to other family members or caretakers. This needs a legal process with constitutional safeguards and a remedy to get them back after medical clearance.
What will be your top priority if elected?
Being able to handle the growth in Elbert County. I will initiate independent audits of all property, evidence, jail, assets and personnel. I will continue building positive relationships with citizens, businesses and all surrounding law enforcement agencies. Having enough deputies to handle the needs of Elbert County is a priority, as well as having positive interactions and relationships with our youth. I will also implement new programs in schools, as well as a neighborhood enforcement team that will investigate all calls of suspicious drug activities.
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