Election 2018: Lincoln County Sheriff
1. What is the main reason you want to be the Lincoln County Sheriff? I’d like to bring back public service to the position. I’d take phone calls from people who ask to speak to the sheriff. Instead of making people waiting in the lobby for a deputy to come back to the office, I’d actually go out and assist them. I’d also answer calls for service on a regular basis. Another reason would be to communicate and work with the police departments. Currently as a deputy, I work very well with the other officers in the county. My opponent recently told a police chief he may start billing his community if a deputy has to handle calls there. That mind set isn’t beneficial for anyone. A final reason would be to work with the commissioners and seek approval before spending taxpayer money. New handguns, shot guns and rifles were purchased without seeking approval. The weapons were split into two separate purchases so each bill would be under $5,000. To spend close to $10,000 of taxpayer money without bothering to even talk about that with the commissioners is extremely reckless.
2. What major changes do you propose or what programs are needed to make the office better? As the sheriff I realize it would be my responsibility to make decisions that would affect the staff. I think it would be extremely beneficial to include employees and seek their input on things that would affect them. When employees have a say in things in the office, I feel they will be appreciated. With the number of people that have left the sheriff’s office in the past four years, I would bring that mind set if elected.
3. Is the department adequately staffed or are more officers needed? We just hired another deputy, so I think we’re in good shape. The only possible ares where a hire might be needed is someone for court security. Right now, the day shift deputy gets that responsibility. That solution works unless something happens where multiple officers are needed to respond to a call.
1. What are the main reasons you want to be the Lincoln County Sheriff? I am truly fortunate and honored to serve as the Sheriff of Lincoln County for the past 4-1/2 years. During this time, I have never considered being Sheriff a symbol of status, a career step to retirement or just another job. I truly believe that I am the only candidate dedicated and connected to the residents of Lincoln County because of my long history of living and working in the county. The reason why I wish to be re-elected the Sheriff of Lincoln County, is the same as it was in the first election. It is to serve the residents of Lincoln County by providing the best service possible. Another reason, is to continue moving the agency forward by attempting to keep up with the ever-changing society and become adaptive to those changes. I have accomplished many equipment upgrades and improved training opportunities while staying within budget.
2. What major changes do you propose or what programs are needed to make the office better? I am continuously searching for ways to make our agency better and I currently do not foresee any major changes. My continuing goal is to re-evaluate the daily operations and to make any improvements as needed. The agency equipment has been assessed and upgraded as needed over the past few years providing employees with the tools they need to be successful. One specific area I would consider looking at improving would be investigations. For a small agency with deputies working a rotating shift, it is difficult to conduct a thorough investigation. Investigations can be very labor intensive and could last many months making it very difficult to complete when a deputy is routinely distracted working other calls. I would like to evaluate how assigning a deputy with investigative duties to assist other deputies with the entire investigative process would benefit the agency. I also feel that my continuous balancing of covering deputy vacation and sick days, handling calls for service and my administrative duties is another way to better the agency. Lastly, I will continue to be an active member in the local and state mental health coalition to provide a means of better working relationships with our health care providers and law enforcement. I will also actively work to provide opportunities for employee training and enhancing those trainings.
3. Is the department adequately staffed or are more officers needed? If you were to ask this question to just about any Sheriff or Police Chief, they would most likely say that an additional employee or two would be really beneficial, but it is unlikely to happen due to budget and shortage potential employees. It is plain and simple that any business, farm or school needs a set number of employees to operate adequately and efficiently and so does the Sheriff’s Office. Staffing is yet another area that I continuously re-evaluate due to evolving responsibilities and duties of the Sheriff’s Office. The transporting of persons in custody to and from court hearings along with transports to and from behavioral health facilities are becoming more frequent and we often travel longer distances. What does this mean? One deputy and sometimes another staff member will be in a squad car likely the entire work day and typically out of the county unable complete any other duties or tasks. Another example is having adequate numbers of officers to respond to the various calls for service such as a domestic disturbance, missing person or vehicle accident which is crucial for maintaining control of the situation and officer safety. As Sheriff I have provided opportunities of increased training and various equipment for officer safety. But the numbers of officers present is usually the best option. These are very basic examples of the many duties which the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office preforms where extra staff would be beneficial, but are unlikely to happen due to the budget. I tend to agree that additional staff would benefit the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office, but the agency will have to fulfill our duties with the staff we currently have. In closing, I would ask the voters of Lincoln County to consider how the two candidates running for Lincoln County Sheriff presented their ideas and what they have accomplished during their professional career. I am the only candidate that is truly “From the County, and For the County”…..Sheriff Chad Meester.