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ELECTION 2018: Sanders County Sheriff/Coroner

 

Darlene Lee

NAME: Darlene Lee

EDUCATION: Associates (AA) degree in Criminal Justice; Basic, Intermediate and Advanced Public Safety Officer Standards and Training (POST) certifications; POST certified police vehicle driving instructor

FAMILY: I have two sons and four grandsons who are my pride and joy. My grandsons range from 7 months to 3 1/2 years old. I have a furbaby who is an Akita named Tashi. 

OCCUPATION: Retired

EXPERIENCE: I was a trooper with the Montana Highway Patrol for 12 years with 9 years of that serving in the Sanders/Mineral County area. 

WHY ARE YOU THE BEST CANDIDATE FOR THIS POSITION?

I believe I am the best candidate for this position because I care about the people of this community and want to help make this a safe and healthy place to live. 

WHAT IS YOUR LEADERSHIP STYLE AND HOW WILL THIS BENEFIT SANDERS COUNTY LAW ENFORCEMENT?

I believe to be an effective leader you must have respect from your officers/staff. This is done by being respectful in return, being fair and just, being accountable and holding others accountable and by inspiring others to strive to do their best, among many other things. 

WHAT DO YOU SEE AS THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT IN SANDERS COUNTY? HOW WOULD YOU HANDLE THIS CHALLENGE AND MAKE IMPROVEMENTS?

This is a large county to cover with limited officers to do so. I believe we could improve the relationship between the community and law enforcement, which I then believe would inspire more people to be willing to speak up and report more incidents. Even if we had more officers we can't be everywhere and see everything, so we must rely on the public to report things like suspected drug activity in their neighborhoods. The illicit drug activity in this area and the fallout from it affects everyone, from victims having items stolen to 'pay' for drugs to those involved in car crashes caused by those on drugs, to the children/families of those involved in drugs. I would also utilize any resources available to combat the drug issue such as seeking assistance from other agencies.

HOW WOULD YOU WORK WITH OTHER LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES, BOTH LOCAL AND FEDERAL?

As a trooper I always advocated for cooperation and unity among the different agencies and I was always willing to help other agencies when needed. My stance on that has not changed and I believe being in the position of Sheriff would enable me to further advocate for a better working relationship among various agencies.

WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THE GROWING NUMBER OF INCARCERATED PEOPLE IN MONTANA? WHAT RESPONSE SHOULD SOCIETY HAVE TO OVERCROWDING?

There is so much more to this "problem" than looking at it as "overcrowding." We need to get to the root of the problem and start figuring out ways to mend this broken society and keep these individuals from needing to be incarcerated. We need to advocate for treatment programs before jail time and there should be more community service programs instituted.

IF YOU WERE FORCED TO CUT THE DEPARTMENT'S BUDGET, WHAT WOULD YOU DO TO ACCOMMODATE THE SHORTAGE?

First off one would need to evaluate if there are any areas of "waste" within the budget and address that. Regardless of shortages I would be applying for every grant possible in order to boost the budget.

WHAT IS ONE THING YOU WOULD LIKE VOTERS TO KNOW ABOUT YOU?

I value my integrity above all, as all other virtues rely on integrity. Law enforcement is a calling for me, not just a job, so I think the position of Sheriff/Coroner would be an incredible avenue to continue to serve my community.

NAME: Tom Rummel

EDUCATION: Graduated from Plains High School 1981, Graduated from the Montana Law Enforcement Academy 2006, and 1045 hours of law enforcement training

FAMILY: Married to Shelly for 23 years with two children

OCCUPATION: Sanders County Sheriff

EXPERIENCE: 12 years law enforcement in Sanders County; 7 1/2 of those years as the Sanders County Sheriff.

WHY ARE YOU THE BEST CANDIDATE FOR SANDERS COUNTY SHERIFF/CORONER?

I am currently the Sanders County Sheriff and have a distinct knowledge of the law enforcement needs facing this county. I would like to continue to serve the citizens of Sanders County and provide them with the law enforcement leadership I believe they deserve.

WHAT IS YOUR LEADERSHIP STYLE AND HOW WILL THIS BENEFIT SANDERS COUNTY LAW ENFORCEMENT?

I do not believe in micro managing your people. This causes people not to think for themselves. You have to give them the room/freedom to expand and develop their strengths. The weaknesses will show up through is process. Then you can provide the training to correct the weakness. This process builds a strong team of deputies and staff that can best serve the citizens of Sanders County and the Sheriff's Office.

WHAT DO YOU SEE AS THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT IN SANDERS COUNTY? HOW WOULD YOU HANDLE THIS CHALLENGE AND MAKE IMPROVEMENTS?

The biggest challenge is the illegal drug trade within the county. The illegal sale and use of meth, opiates, marijuana, and prescription pills is what fuels the burglaries, thefts, domestic violence, child abuse, mental health issues and DUI's in Sanders County. The only way to combat this is through the continued gathering of information of those involved, targeting them and then putting together a good solid case that will stand up in court. This is very frustrating for not only law enforcement but for the citizens as well. I will continue to target the illegal drug trade in the county and use every force available to stop its flow and use.

HOW WOULD YOU WORK WITH OTHER LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES, BOTH LOCAL AND FEDERAL?

It all starts with communication. All agencies whether they be local, state or federal will depend on one another for support at some point in time. Jurisdictional boundaries must be considered along with the citizens constitutional rights. The seriousness of the situation will usually dictate who is or can be involved and to what extent. Once this is determined it is up to the individual agencies to cooperate in the best interest of and for the safety of the citizens and agencies, and to make sure the law is upheld.

WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THE GROWING NUMBER OF INCARCERATED PEOPLE IN MONTANA? WHAT RESPONSE SHOULD SOCIETY HAVE TO OVERCROWDING?

The growing number of incarcerated people in Montana is a direct reflection on the lack of teeth in the criminal justice system. It is also a reflection of the lack of respect and accountability for the law. A lot of this is tied to drug use. Lack of respect starts in the home, then goes to the schools, then to law enforcement. The people of Montana need to push for stiffer penalties for illegal drug use and sales, DUI's and crimes committed in general. There also needs to be more accountability in rehabilitation programs.

IF YOU WERE FORCED TO CUT THE DEPARTMENT'S BUDGET, WHAT WOULD YOU DO TO ACCOMMODATE THE SHORTAGE?

In the last 7 1/2 years I have had to cut the budget. To accommodate these cuts, we have had to put strict limits on overtime. We have found online POST accredited training for Deputies, Detectives, Detention Officers and Dispatchers. This reduces the cost of travel, overtime and the training course itself. We are looking at installing laptop computers in vehicles and establishing remote work stations. This will reduce travel to and from the Sheriff's Office and increase the efficiency of patrol deputies. I have pursued outside funding to relieve the budget and will continue to do so.

WHAT IS ONE THING YOU WOULD LIKE VOTERS TO KNOW ABOUT YOU?

I am honest and approachable. I try very hard to return all calls and give people an honest answer. I will continue to serve the citizens of Sanders County to the best of my ability.

NAME: Justin Ryan

EDUCATION: GED. Horse logging, carpenter/builder, 6 yrs. in the oil fields, derricks, rock picker, excavator operator.

FAMILY: Oldest of eleven children, married with four boys.

OCCUPATION: Rock picker, excavator operator.

EXPERIENCE: Learned to diffuse situations before they escalated from being the oldest child, to running crews in the oil field.

WHY ARE YOU THE BEST CANDIDATE FOR THIS POSITION?

A passion for peoples' liberties, unalienable rights and willing to fight for those rights.

WHAT IS YOUR LEADERSHIP STYLE AND HOW WILL THIS BENEFIT SANDERS COUNTY LAW ENFORCEMENT?

I would work with and beside the people of Sanders County to help improve the life here in Sanders County.

WHAT DO YOU SEE AS THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT IN SANDERS COUNTY? HOW WOULD YOU HANDLE THIS CHALLENGE AND MAKE IMPROVEMENTS?

The Justice system and moral fabric of society is broken. I would try to work with the families within the county.

HOW WOULD YOU WORK WITH OTHER LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES, BOTH LOCAL AND FEDERAL?

I would evaluate each case and the elements within that case.

WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THE GROWING NUMBER OF INCARCERATED PEOPLE IN MONTANA? WHAT RESPONSE SHOULD SOCIETY HAVE TO OVERCROWDING?

We need to return to constitutional law and biblical law. We need to hold one another to the morals and principals that are taught in the constitution and bible. Children must be taught what is right and wrong and that there are consequences.

Tom Rummel

IF YOU WERE FORCED TO CUT THE DEPARTMENT'S BUDGET, WHAT WOULD YOU DO TO ACCOMMODATE THE SHORTAGE?

Until I am in office I feel I can't answer this question honestly, but I have kept my family on a tight budget and able to keep the necessities when things were tight.

WHAT IS ONE THING YOU WOULD LIKE VOTERS TO KNOW ABOUT YOU?

As sheriff I feel I should stand between anyone or any organization that tries to take anyone's unalienable rights. I would in my opinion have no choice but to consider them my enemy. If they are a neighbor, rancher, farmer, logger, friend or person, I, Justin Ryan, will do whatever it takes to help defend those natural rights of self-defense and private property.

 

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