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 chose to run for Barry County Sheriff?
After growing up in the area and then entering the law enforcement field, I’ve grown passionate about the quality of law enforcement and criminal justice in Barry County. I strive to move Barry County into the next generation of criminal justice. By implementing better communication and technology along with delivering equal and unbiased service to the citizens of Barry County, I can assist in protecting the community I love and call home.
What qualification do you have that makes you the best candidate for the job?
I am progressive enough to move the department in a efficient direction but still provide small town service that the citizens want. As Director of search and rescue, I managed a budget and resources. With this experience, I feel that it gives me a leg up on my opponents by having the very important skills necessary to effetely run the sheriffs office.
What do you feel is the biggest concern in the current operation of the Sheriff’s Department, and would you propose to remedy it?
There have been minimum standards written into Missouri Law for years and I will bring the agency to those standards. The standards are designed to prevent county liability and ensure equal and proper treatment and investigations to all citizens of Barry County. Proper training and accountable supervision will ensure that those standards continued. Ethical direction of resources will provide a noticeable difference in the service performed by the Barry County Sheriff’s Office.
What changes do you hope to make if elected sheriff?
Provide necessary training to deputies and develop a structured operating procedure to ensure complete investigations and successful prosecution of crimes in Barry County. Rebuild working relationships with county offices to provide a better line of communication regarding budget, criminal prosecution and monitoring of career criminals. Also developing mutual aid relationships with other area agencies. Crime does not stop at the Barry County line and people committing crimes in Barry County are also committing crimes in neighboring counties.
What makes you a better candidate over your competitors?
Having worked with most of them, I have a lot of respect for them as law enforcement officers. As a longtime resident of Barry County, I’m very connected with citizen of Barry County and their law enforcement needs. I also know the way things have been ran are not working. However, I think Barry County is in need of progressive change, but a change that will fit the needs of the citizens of Barry County.
What do you feel the Sheriff’s role should be within the community and the department?
I think the Sheriff should be a strong community leader. Providing a well trained and staffed agency to provide service to the community. Keeping the public informed about the office activities and community incidents. Provide training and information to county residents to increase awareness of law enforcement and criminal activities in the county. Establish a good communication between with other county officials and area law enforcement agencies to better serve the citizens of Barry County.
Use this last question as an opportunity to address any issues that you did not address in the previous questions.
I will develop policies and procedures to properly investigate criminal activity within the county that has been discarded in the past. All cases have significance regardless of severity or amount of loss. As I’ve mentioned before, statistics show most crimes are committed by the same offenders. So that leads me to believe that solving the minor theft in one part of the county, will likely prevent or solve further crime in other parts. A different philosophy of investigation combined with citizen awareness can assist in the arrest of offenders previously overlooked due to the inattention to some cases.