1. Would you run the sheriff’s department in the same way it is currently run or would you make changes? If you would make significant changes what are they?
I believe that some change is needed which is why I am running for sheriff. Increase proactive patrolling and have deputies have a greater visual presence in our small communities. I would have deputies make it a priority to spend time in each town during every one of their shifts. Presence and more proactive patrolling will deter crimes such as break-ins, thefts and drug activity. I would utilize the investigator position that is already in place to compile drug information and disseminate that to the patrol deputies for focused drug enforcement. I would no longer allow unarmed, under trained jailers to transport people with misdemeanor and felony warrants across the state in marked squad cars. I would make sure they are properly trained and equipped with the equipment they need to keep themselves and the public safe. I would implement a Sergeant position within the sheriff’s office. This position would supervise the night shift and ensure accountability during the overnight hours. I would make sure every deputy has a body camera and every squad car is equipped with an in-car video system. This process would have to be done over a period of time utilizing grants and other monies when available.
2. If elected sheriff, what would your priorities be?
Professionalism. Fairness. Accountability.
Transparency. Fiscal Responsibility.
3. How would you describe your management style?
I lead by example. I have been in a supervisory role with the Maquoketa Police Department for the past 9 years. First as a Sergeant, and currently as the Asst. Chief of Police. I would never ask my people to do anything that I wouldn’t do myself. My employees will know what my expectations are and then be held to those standards.
4. How would you ensure fair and equal treatment of Jackson County residents?
As law enforcement officers, it is our duty to be fair and impartial. In cases where we find ourselves having a potential conflict of interest we need to make sure the scene is safe then remove ourselves and ask another agency to take over for the purpose of transparency and fairness. Deputies will know the expectations I have for them as sheriff and will be held to those expectations.
5. When should a sheriff’s deputy turn their body cameras on and off?
Body cameras should be turned on just prior to arriving at a call and then turned off when that call is finished. Deputies should follow department policy while also weighing the need to record the incident versus an expectation of privacy. For example when assisting on medical calls when there the person needing medical attention may be in a compromised position such as in the bathroom or in a state of undress. This would be a time when the need to record needs to be weighed against a person’s right to privacy.
6. Do you think the sheriff’s department handled the Amanda Lassance case correctly, and would you have done anything differently?
To be clear, this incident occurred in Clinton County, so the Clinton County Sheriff’s Office was the agency solely responsible for the investigating the case involving Amanda Lassance, not the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office. If elected Sheriff of Jackson County, I will ensure, through training and proper supervision that my deputies investigate matters thoroughly and apply the law fairly and impartially to all they serve, regardless of the person’s legal expertise or social status.
7. What would be your policy for providing information to the public?
I would follow open records laws as spelled out in Chapter 22 of the Iowa Code. If there is ever a time where I am unsure if something can or cannot be released I will follow the recommendation of legal counsel.
8. What kind of training do you think is necessary for sheriff’s deputies to do their jobs well?
I expect my deputies to be well-rounded officers and will require them to go above and beyond the minimum standards of training. Throughout my career, I have always gone above and beyond the minimum requirements for training. I have attended multiple leadership courses, drug interdiction trainings, domestic violence trainings, specialty trainings involving missing and abducted children, interviews and interrogations trainings and currently hold instructor level certification in 5 different areas.
9. Jackson County voters twice defeated a bond measure for a new jail. Do you think taxpayers should support the building of a new Jackson County jail, and why?
A new jail is needed based on my own personal observations as an officer and those recommendations made by the state jail inspector. I think we need to focus on building a facility with the proper number of classification units allowing us to safely operate while providing enough beds to fulfill our county’s needs.