This candidate responded to the survey. His interview from the spring is posted here as well.
This content has been provided by the candidates and has not been edited.
Occupation & relevant work experience
I am Chief Deputy of the Canyon County Sheriff’s Office. I have been in law enforcement for nearly ten years. I have over 1,000 hours of certified training; hold an Advanced Certificate; been deputized as a Special Deputy US Marshal; and hold a top secret clearance with the FBI.
What Seat & District are you running for?
Canyon County Sheriff
How long have you lived in Canyon County? Please list the years?
20 years. 1992-present
Please tell us about your family.
I am married to my best friend Jeanie who is a Dental Hygienist. I have three daughters; Kiera, 21 yoa and attends the University of Idaho; Ashley, 21 yoa and attends the College of Western Idaho and Boise State; and Kelsea, 17 yoa is a senior at Columbia.
Have you ever filed bankruptcy for yourself or for your business? If yes, please tell us when and the circumstances.
Are your (property and income) taxes paid up and current? If not, please explain why?
Have you been convicted of any misdemeanor or felony charges? (Traffic citations not included) If yes, what were the convictions and the circumstances?
Have you served in the military? If so, when, for how long and for what branch?
Have you been a candidate in any other elections? If so, what and when?
Have you held other elected positions? Please provide details.
Are you involved in any community causes or organizations? If so, what are they and why?
I have recently been selected to serve on the Board of Directors for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwest Idaho. I serve on the Board of Directors for the Family Justice Center Foundation of Idaho. I am a strong advocate for victims of Domestic Violence and have started a public awareness campaign titled the “ Man Up Crusade” to bring an awareness of Domestic Violence issues including the secondary and tertiary effects it has on innocent women, men and children. I am a supporter of the local 4-H programs and give clinics to young people in these programs.
Please name the organizations or groups that have endorsed you so far in this election. Also please list any conflict of interest situations that you would face if elected.
The Canyon County Sheriff’s Office Fraternal Order of Police
What do you consider your greatest accomplishments?
In law enforcement, my greatest accomplishment is being a part of the METRO Task Force and assisting as the lead investigator or co-case officer in convicting numerous high level and dangerous criminal gang members from Canyon County. The inter-agency cooperation by Caldwell Police, Nampa Police and CCSO has been instrumental in making our streets a safer place and I am proud to be a part of that solution, earning the trust and respect of my fellow law enforcement officers and certainly my family, of whom I am proud of and to whom I am thoroughly committed.
What standard should elected officials be held to?
The highest standards possible. They must put the public’s interests before their own. This is the choice they made. It is the oath they have taken. Elected officials are fallible human beings, however, they should strive to make the right decisions and be accountable when they are wrong.
What is your solution to the overcrowded jail situation?
It is stated that the overcrowding of the jail is a law enforcement problem. I disagree. It is a society problem and it affects us all. We must be progressive and innovative in our approach to this problem. One possibility is a Regional Management System (RMS). This system is currently used in other parts of the United States with great success. The RMS is a regional facility that serves all counties in the district. By utilizing video arraignment, and video court options, the offenders are located in one facility and only return to
What is your opinion of the county's idea of implementing a multi-phase building plan to expand the current county campus?
In terms of increasing court room and office space for a growing population I think there is some merit to what they are proposing. In terms of building on to the existing jail that is outdated, I think it is a band-aid approach to a bleeding artery.
How can the county improve its relationship with other city, county (and neighboring counties) and state agencies?
By taking the approach that we have used in law enforcement, which is to break down the “territorial boundaries” and realize that sharing resources including information, technology, equipment and manpower is a good way to provide the quality of life we want and have come to expect.
As an elected county officer, you must work closely with the county commissioners. How would you rate the performance of the current trio of commissioners and why?
The commissioners have had their hands full over the last few years. From the issue with the former Prosecuting Attorney to the lack of revenue to operate the County they have learned some valuable lessons. They put too much trust in some of the people they thought they could depend on only to find out that John Bujak and Andy Eveland had their own agendas. They have learned that the citizens, as well as department heads, want more transparency and open communication by their commissioners.
The county has implemented several methods of alternative sentencing. Are county residents safe? Please explain your answer.
Canyon County residents are safe because we have professional and dedicated officers in our Sheriff’s Office. However, accountability is lacking when the courts are not provided sufficient jail space for those convicted of high profile crimes. Alternative Sentencing is a useful tool, but it does not replace necessary incarceration.
The county jail is under the ACLU's legal thumb. What concerns do you have about this and what would you do to keep the county out of a lawsuit situation?
We are currently operating under a Consent Decree. We will continue to adhere to the Idaho Sheriff Association Jail Standards Guidelines and keep our numbers in the detention facility down. We will continue to work with the Criminal Justice Planning Council in monitoring our Judicial and detention restrictions.
Why should you be elected instead of your opponent?
I have more experience with a Sheriff’s Office and law enforcement issues, such as inter-agency cooperation, than my opponent. My experience comes from working in a Sheriff’s Office of 300 plus personnel where as my opponent's only law enforcement experience comes from working as a Detention Deputy in the small Owyhee County Sheriff's Office. I am the only candidate who has first-hand knowledge of working in our detention facility and have worked in our detention facility when we had upwards of 600 inmates. I am up to speed on the Jail Standards of Idaho. I have the collective support of my fellow Canyon County officers. I have worked my way up through the ranks and have excelled in managing critical situations in regards to law enforcement in Canyon County. I have experience in addressing the unique public safety issues including drugs, illegal firearms and domestic violence. I have experience in investigating complex homicides and very complex organized criminal enterprises. I have the respect and admiration of all levels of law enforcement in the Treasure Valley including the United States Attorney's Office and the Attorney General's Office. I have owned and operated successful private business in Idaho.
List your experience in working with other law enforcement agencies? How will that help you if you are elected?
As a member of the Treasure Valley METRO Violent Crime and Gang Task Force, sponsored by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, it was my responsibility to work side by side on a daily basis with numerous law enforcement agencies. This multi-jurisdictional unit enabled all officers to work together on highly complex and multi-defendant felony cases that sometimes lasted up to three years in length. I have extensive experience working with nearly every law enforcement agency in the Treasure Valley from street officers to the highest level administrators. In addition due to the complexity of the cases I have worked, I also have extensive experience in working with the United States Attorney’s Office, Idaho Attorney General’s Office and multiple county Prosecuting Attorney’s. This broad experience will enable me to call upon additional resources when needed and to offer Canyon County resources to other agencies in times of need. As Sheriff, I will continue to develop my personal working relationships with all law enforcement agencies for the betterment of Canyon County. In these changing and difficult economic times it is a great benefit to have all law enforcement agencies working together in order to share costs and resources. The success of the METRO Task Force during my tenure is a testimony to the benefit of law enforcement working together for the good of the public we serve.
What is the biggest impact you can have on crime in Canyon County and the Treasure Valley?
My vast experience in addressing violent crime as an undercover officer assigned to both the City County Narcotics Unit and the METRO Violent Crime Task Force for nearly six years gives me an incredible advantageous insight to the criminal elements at work in Canyon County. My work on highly complex and multi-defendant illegal drugs, illegal firearms and violent gangs gives Canyon County a highly motivated and experienced leader who understands what it takes to address crime in our County. My leadership and interpersonal skills allow me to communicate and direct our resources in the most efficient and economic fashion with limited assets. My experience with testifying at the state House and Senate committee hearings on gang related legislation and issues, gives me insight and credit with our legislative leadership. My involvement on the Idaho Justice Commission Sub Committee on criminal gang issues broadens my ability to see the whole picture and does not limit me to experience just in Canyon County. My time as an investigator in Crimes Against Persons such as Domestic Violence and Homicide have given me even greater insight that I can pass on to our officers on a day to day basis. I come from an agricultural background and understand the needs of a rural county. My understanding that the issues we face in Canyon County are also, state and national issues, which we are a part of, will help me continue to dedicate the appropriate resources to keep our communities safe.
What is your No. 1 concern when it comes to crime in Canyon County? Why? And how will you fix it?
The biggest criminal concern we face is the epidemic of Methamphetamine sales and use. This drug is possibly the most addictive drug the world has ever known and is one of the easiest drugs to obtain on the streets. It is not a victimless drug and has secondary and tertiary affects such as children of addicts, medical issues, social and economic problems, etc. It has the potential to literally bankrupt our country socially and economically due to its devastating effects. Children and adults have access to the drug and this drug can be traced to at least 80% of crimes committed in Canyon County. It is easily obtained because of the sheer amounts that get supplied to our County by Mexican Cartels and their distribution networks here in Canyon County. The “Border Wars” have left nearly 50,000 people dead in the last 5 years. This does not just affect Mexico. Drug Cartels have to get their product to the number one consumer which is the United States. It is a multi-billion dollar industry. It certainly affects us in Canyon County. I continue to support the Idaho Meth Project and any efforts to educate our young people and prevent its use. I will continue to support inter-agency narcotics units and partnerships with federal agencies to stem the flow of drugs into our county and punish those responsible. I will continue to capitalize on our strong relationships with the United States Attorney’s office to investigate, charge and prosecute violent criminals and drug dealers in our area.
What is your No. 2 concern when it comes to crime in Canyon County? Why? And how will you fix it?
Domestic Violence has also reached epidemic proportions, not just in our county but nationwide. Currently research shows that 1 in 4 women will be a victim of domestic violence by their significant partner in their lifetime. Approximately 1 in 7 men will also be a victim of Domestic Violence in their lifetime. On average 3 women are killed every day in the United States by their domestic partner. These statistics are staggering. Currently Canyon County sees a large number of Domestic Violence cases sometimes reaching one per day on average. We have a tremendous team of patrol officers, detectives and Victim Witness Coordinators that address these cases very seriously. As a past supervisor of our Crimes Against Persons unit I know the importance and tediousness of handling these cases on a one on one basis. The victims of these crimes are not always just the adults but the children living in these households also suffer and more often than not grow up to be victims or offenders themselves. These cases can often be attributed to substance abuse (Methamphetamine) and economic hardships can play an important role in these cases. They are more often than not very complex and my strong working relationship with our Prosecuting Attorney’s Office helps us move these cases forward and hold offenders accountable. I have recently founded a public awareness campaign on Domestic Violence called the "Man Up Crusade" and I will continue to support education and shelters who assist those in need in our communities.
What is your No. 3 concern when it comes to crime in Canyon County? Why? And how will you fix it?
Burglary and property crimes have also increased in our county over the last few years. Some of this can be attributed to the growth of our county and with growth comes a certain increase in the criminal element. However, I believe the strongest increase in burglaries and property theft like copper wire and guns comes from the insatiable appetite of the Methamphetamine trade. People who are addicted to Methamphetamine must feed their habits. It does not come down to choices it becomes a must to obtain the drug. Thus, property is stolen and traded or sold on the “black market” in order to purchase the street level amounts of Methamphetamine. Once again this is not limited to any age group and the suspects in these cases regularly steal from strangers but also from family members to feed their addiction. It is a relentless cycle and we are truly in a fight to save our society and our next generation(s). My office currently works very closely within the private and corporate business sectors in curbing theft of property and we will continue to strengthen these relationships using all resources at our disposal. I believe it is our job to help educate the business and private property owners to the risks of burglary and theft and help prevent them from becoming a victim and we will continue to explore these avenues. However, this has to be done in conjunction with eliminating the onslaught of illegal drugs in order to help slow the cycle.
How much of an impact do gangs have on Canyon County crime? What needs to be done to combat gangs and the crimes they commit?
Canyon County has seen a significant drop in gang activity over the last several years. In 2004 there were approximately 200 gang related shootings in the Treasure Valley (making national news). In 2005 Canyon County Sheriff’s Office committed its resources to assist in stopping the this criminal behavior by helping to establish the FBI Metro Violent Crime and Gang Task Force who’s mission was to take out the hierarchy of the gangs through criminal prosecution and take away their leadership. This has drastically changed the atmosphere of the gang impact in Canyon County. When gang membership and involvement is up we see an increase in Aggravated Battery, Burglary and even Homicide to name a few. My goal will be to continue to support specialty groups like Metro, Nampa Police Department’s gang unit and Caldwell Police Department’s Street Crimes Unit to keep a law enforcement presence in the streets to deter involvement with gangs and the crimes they commit. We have to continue to stay proactive instead of reactive and realize as a community that the problem does exist and we must deal with it. Here again education can play a key role in limiting gang involvement by our young people by showing them the harsh realities of “gang life” and the consequences of choosing that life style. I believe the success of school uniforms cannot be understated and I encourage all school districts to look at this option as it does limit the amount of “recruiting” done at our schools and school functions.
There's been a high rate of murders in Canyon County in the past year. Why has this happened and what can you do to control those numbers?
We have seen an increase in the number of Homicides over the last year but I do not believe there is any pattern that is presented here. In other words we have random Homicides that have taken place for a variety of reasons. I do believe that in some of the cases we can see a common denominator of substance abuse and involvement in the drug trade. If that is true then once again it lends credit that we as a society must do a better job of allowing substance abuse to have such free reign with our children and loved ones. It is not an easy task and there are not simple answers. We must put a stop to the overwhelming amount of illegal drugs flowing north from Mexico into Canyon County and the Treasure Valley. In order to do this we must work together with our local, state and federal law enforcement partners to collaborate together and come up with solutions in stopping the supply chain. This problem belongs to society as a whole and I implore our state legislators and our Congressional body to take off the blinders, see the problem for what it is and do whatever it takes to support controlling our national border with Mexico to stem this tide from overtaking us. I will continue to speak about this openly and publicly to our state legislators and our Attorney General as we continue to fight the good fight.