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 have committed myself to Law Enforcement for the past 13 years, working for the Barry County Sheriff’s Office. I have worked with our current sheriff and have observed the dedication, commitment and hard work it takes to run the sheriff’s office. I am very loyal and committed to the Sheriff’s Office and would like to continue this commitment as your Sheriff. I will be fair, honest and impartial.
What qualifications do you have that make you the best candidate for the job?
I have over 1000 hours of Post Certified Law Enforcement Training. I am the only candidate that has worked for the Sheriff’s Office for the past 13 years and the only candidate that has general knowledge of the operation side of the sheriff’s Office.
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?
Barry County is the 3rd largest county land wise in the state. Our officers are assigned patrol zones to provide better coverage of the area. They frequently have to leave those zones and return to the Cassville office to make phone calls, do reports and meet with people. I would like to create substations within those patrol zones. With strategic placement of a substation in one or more of these areas, I believe this would also improve response time on emergency calls and decrease the amount of time law enforcement would have to travel with lights and sirens, at high speeds, putting the public or officer in danger. I would ensure the substations would be utilized by the patrol deputies and I also believe this would benefit the citizens in those areas instead of having to drive to Cassville to file a report, if not reported by phone. I feel this can be done at a minimal expense to the office.
What changes do you hope to make if you are elected?
More training for officers, substations in designated patrol zones, cameras in cars, more officer presence in our schools. Seek more grant funding to cover costs of equipment and personnel. However, the public needs to know that just because you submit requests for grant funding does not mean that you are going to get approved for those funds. My goal is to keep reapplying for certain grants when available for hopeful approval.
What do you feel the Sheriff’s role should be within the community and the department?
I feel that the Sheriff should be as visible in the community and available just like his deputies that patrol. However, he needs to make time to carry out the administrative duties of the office as need. Doing both is possible and can be done.
What makes you a better candidate over your competitors?
I have worn the sheriff’s badge for the past 13 years, with honor, commitment and loyalty. I am committed to my job and the people of Barry County. I would like to continue to wear this badge as your Sheriff.