My Vision for Meade County
I have a vision to improve the Meade County Sheriff’s Office with new innovations to serve the citizens of Meade County. As a Supervisory Special Agent in the South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI), I managed law enforcement professionals at the highest level in the state for 16 years. I believe in the philosophy of continuous improvement. My goal as a supervisor was to guide and mentor the special agents who worked for me and to help them get better every day. In turn, as they improved, so did our overall performance. I want to bring this same mentoring attitude to the Meade County Sheriff’s Office. I do this job because I love it. I stay up late thinking about what can be done better to serve the citizens of Meade County. Law enforcement is vital to the well-being and quality of life our citizens expect. Embracing and leveraging technology is extremely important because it will improve efficiencies in the Meade County Sheriff’s Office and allow us to keep citizens updated throughout the biggest county in the state. My plans to improve the Sheriff’s Office include:
- Public Safety - The welfare and protection of the general public will be my number one priority as Meade County Sheriff. My primary goal is the prevention and protection of the Meade County citizens from dangers affecting safety such as crimes or disasters. I plan to implement new practices and new policies to help with officer safety through mentoring and training. This will help the Sheriff’s Office be more effective and efficient.
- Customer Service and Quality of Service – Under my supervision, the Meade County Sheriff’s Office will provide world-class customer service. We serve the citizens of Meade County and it is important that they feel we are there for them in their time of need. As a supervisor, my management style is to lead from the front. I like to be a part of what’s going on and use my extensive experience and training to assist and mentor others in solving problems and crimes. By doing this I am able to implement “quality control” and improve law enforcement field operations. Updated and continuous training for my staff will be expected.
- Drug Investigation/Interdiction - The methamphetamine and Opiod/Fentanyl problem is the biggest risk to public safety in Meade County. It is as bad as I’ve ever seen it in my 28 years in law enforcement. When I started working undercover drug investigations in 1995, I was only able to buy less than an ounce of methamphetamine on the street. Now, law enforcement is buying several pounds of methamphetamine and seizing fentanyl in amounts we have never seen before. It is time for the Meade County Sheriff’s Office needs to get into the fight. If we solve drug crime, we will solve other crimes. A high percentage of the major crimes that occur in Meade County and other counties across the country involve drugs, specifically methamphetamine.
- Fiscal Responsibility - The Meade County Sheriff’s Office approved budget for 2022 is more than $4.8 million – funded by you, the taxpayer. My experience as a Supervisory Special Agent in the South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation showed me the importance of being a good steward of taxpayer dollars. My vision and strategy for the Meade County Sheriff’s Office includes planning for contingencies. In order to help with these unplanned events I have identified several sources of revenue that can be made available to the Meade County Sheriff’s Office. When I am elected Sheriff, I will implement and take advantage of these revenue funding resources. I will ensure that these monies are used properly and documented as required. These additional revenue streams will augment our approved budget and allow the Meade County Sheriff’s Office to improve all aspects of law enforcement operations.
- Employee Relationships and Accountability – During my 16 years as a Supervisory Special Agent in the South Dakota DCI, I developed a strong leadership philosophy. I found the best way to develop law enforcement professionals is to give them the overall vision for our office, ensure they have the proper training, let them do their jobs and hold them accountable for their actions. The motto I follow is “Build Your Team, Train Your Team and Support Your Team”. I believe it is the obligation of the Sheriff and Sheriff’s Office to account for its activities, accept responsibility for them, and to disclose the results in a transparent manner.
- Improved Victim Management and Rights – People do not choose to become a victim, but when a Meade County citizen is the victim of a crime, I will begin a professional relationship with them and will ensure that they are kept informed of the status of our investigation. I have learned the importance of victim rights and management and will do what I can as a Sheriff to resolve their individual situations.
- Improved Professional and Public Relations – My whole life and career has been built around developing and maintaining long term relationships with those that I work with and others in the law enforcement family. This is what I want to bring to the Meade County Sheriff’s Office. I believe in active community policing by which the residents of Meade County will know and see the Sheriff and the Deputies that serve them. Having this relationship with the public better serves the citizens and will keep them informed of what is going on in the community. I will leverage social media platforms and other communications methods to ensure the citizens of Meade County are informed on the activities of their Sheriff, Deputies and support staff. The Sheriff’s Office will become more efficient and economically viable by having improved relations with the county commissioners, law enforcement entities in and around the Meade County and the residents of the county.