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Dakota County Sheriff

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    Joe Leko

Información Biográfica

Why are you the best candidate for this position? (750 characters)

If elected, what will your top three priorities be and why? (500 characters)

What do you see as the biggest challenges to your office, and how would you address them? (500 characters)

What procedures would you implement to improve or maintain transparency in the sheriff’s department’s activities? (500 characters)

How would you describe your leadership style and how that qualifies you for the role of sheriff? (500 characters)

Now more than ever, we need a sheriff who is proven, has led through challenging times, and is connected to the community. I have served in the Dakota County Sheriff’s Office for 25-years with the last eight years as Chief Deputy overseeing day-to-day operations. Under my leadership, the Dakota County Sheriff’s Office is considered a model agency that others aspire to. We continue to raise our profile and professional reputation by modeling a philosophy of both collaboration and continuous improvement in all our services and operations. We strive to be better in what we do individually and collectively every day. I look forward to building upon our great reputation and improving our service to the residents of Dakota County.
The infiltration of illegal drugs in our communities continue to have a profound impact on overall crime and public health in Dakota County. We need a holistic approach to reduce the impact of illegal drugs including legislation, education, prevention, enforcement, and rehabilitation. Mental health crisis response and care is a high priority both on our streets and in our jail. We are making progress. Lastly, increasing community engagement and regain public trust serves as a high priority.
Though our mission is external toward the service we provide to residents, the biggest challenge we face today is internal. In the last two years, we have seen a drastic reduction in the number of deputy applicants. One goal to increase the hiring pool is reestablishing trust in the community. We will focus on positive interaction with youth in our schools and in the public in effort to increase school enrollment in public safety and make the profession attractive again.
To establish trust between the community and the Sheriff’s Office, we must be willing to open the doors and share data and information. As your sheriff, I will continue to be transparent sharing what we do while explaining why and how we do it. You will have access to our policies, programs, jail demographics, data on force used by deputies, calls for service and crime data, real time reporting of drug overdoses in the County and more.
My leadership centers on my own core values. Those being compassion, respect, accountability, and integrity. Through those shared values, I believe we have built a positive work culture at the Sheriff’s Office. I espouse a philosophy of both collaboration and continuous improvement in all our services and operations. We aim to be innovative and out front on issues to influence change and provide better service.