As Barry County approaches the August 2 Primary Election, the Barry County Advertiser distributed questionnaires to the Sheriff and Public Administrator candidates.
The responses from the candidates are printed in this week’s issue with only spelling and basic grammatical changes made by staff.
All candidates were given the opportunity to answer each question in 75 words or less, and some candidates chose to utilize all of the questions, while others did not.
The Meet the Candidates questionnaire was designed to allow the candidates to speak for themselves about pressing issues.
Travis Hilburn-R, Danny Boyd-R, James Smith-R, Justin Fohn-R, Terry Meek-R, Gary Davis-R and Justin “Dave” Ruark-D.
Why did you choose to run for Barry County Sheriff?
I believe we can do better and that I have the integrity, experience, training and professionalism to bring a new beginning to Barry County Law Enforcement. When people think of the position of Sheriff, they think of someone who focuses on patrol, but that is not the sum of his job. A Sheriff wears many hats. A Sheriff must ensure procedures and policies are followed, prepare and manage budgets, and lead the officers working for him.
What qualifications do you have that make you the best candidate for the job?
I am a retired FBI Special Agent with over 32 years law enforcement experience. I conducted and supervised investigations including drug trafficking, organized crime, bank robbery, and counter-terrorism. My investigative involvement included the attempted assassination of President Ronald Reagan, the Oklahoma City bombing and the September 11th terror attacks. I have a Bachelors Degree in Business Administration. I have developed and managed multi-million dollar budgets, HIDTA and OCDETF grants, intelligence centers and their personnel.
What do you feel is the biggest concern in the current operation of the Sheriff’s Department, and how would you propose to remedy it?
The question asks about the operation of the Sheriff’s Office. Until elected and in a position to see how things are done, I cannot address operations. The job of the Sheriff is the safety and security of the citizens of Barry County. We must have a well-trained, well equipped Sheriff’s Department, with officers who are paid a living wage and are committed to serving the citizens of Barry County with integrity and professionalism.
What changes do you hope to make if you are elected?
Everything is on the table. Among the changes I plan to make, for which no additional funding is required, is the implementing of community policing. Deputies will be encouraged to spend time and effort in developing and maintaining relationships with citizens, businesses, schools and community organizations. These entities have a shared interest with the Sheriff’s Office in resolving issues before they become problems. I will join HIDTA and assign a deputy to the Drug Task Force.
What do you feel the Sheriff’s role should be within the community and the Department?
The job of the Sheriff is the safety and security of the citizens of Barry County. Integrity, professionalism and a commitment to serving the citizens of Barry County will be my number one requirements. It will be the Barry County Sheriff’s Office mission to work with other law enforcement agencies, public officials and the citizens and visitors of Barry County to provide professional law enforcement services while protecting the Constitutional Rights of the people.
What makes you a better candidate over your competitors?
I am the only candidate with a proven record of managing and supervising personnel, creating budgets and instituting programs to combat crime. I have led critical law enforcement task forces and missions, developed standard operating policy and procedures, prepared job descriptions, assessed personnel requirements, selected personnel, developed training programs, supervised up to 39 investigators and analysts, wrote grants, developed and managed budgets, and acted as liaison to multiple state and federal law enforcement and other agencies.