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Blue Earth County Sheriff

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  • Candidate picture

    Paul Barta

  • Candidate picture

    Jeff Wersal

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)

Campaign Website http://www.barta4sheriff.com
Campaign Email barta4sheriff@gmail.com
Campaign Mailing Address PO BOX 252
My twenty-year tenure with the Sheriff’s Office and numerous assignments have provided knowledge and experience at the highest levels of my profession. Promotion to Patrol Captain over six years ago places me as the third-highest ranking member of administration next in command to the Sheriff and Chief Deputy. My position has allowed me to contribute to the priorities and vision for the agency and to fully understand the responsibilities of the Sheriff. As a lifelong resident of the Mankato area, I have grown with the Sheriff’s Office and our community. I understand the importance of the services provided by all divisions of the Sheriff’s Office including dispatch, patrol, investigations, jail, support services and emergency management.
I will continue leading the Sheriff’s Office to focus on priorities central to the needs of our community. 1) Proactive law enforcement and crime prevention. Protecting people and their property is expected and fundamental. 2) Address mental illness (MI) and chemical dependency (CD) collaboratively. The societal issue of MI/CD in our jails requires new ideas and creative thought among partners. 3) Enhance public trust and community partnerships to promote the most effective delivery of services.
Active violence and trust among diverse populations. I recognized alarming trends in violence at our schools before the Sandy Hook tragedy and built a regional response to keep our children safe. Recurring mass-casualty events highlight the need for alert and prepared first responders. The image of law enforcement has been fractured especially among our diverse populations. I plan to continue active outreach to civic leaders and organizations to rebuild confidence and the foundation of trust.
Access to information and responsiveness are critical. I handle nearly all media and public information requests and have been commended for transparency. I envisioned and led the initiative to establish a social media presence to quickly share agency information with the public. I am working to post call for service information to the office website to promote easy access and plan to explore transparency hubs allowing statistical data to be posted online.
Thoughtful, proven, credible and transformational. Over 20 years of diverse experience at all levels of my profession has provided credible knowledge to the extent that others look to me for guidance and direction. I am a transformational leader always striving for improvement of the organization for the betterment of its members and our community. Public service must meet society’s changing needs and I am positioned and prepared to continue this leadership style for my organization as Sheriff.
As a resident of Blue Earth County, I am proud to live and raise my family here. I have served in Law Enforcement in Blue Earth County for over 20 years. I was promoted to Lieutenant after five years with the Sheriff’s Office. I have been leading the multi-jurisdictional MN River Valley Drug Task Force since 2015. For the last 8 years I have dedicated my enforcement efforts on violent crime and narcotics investigations. At the same time, I have worked collaboratively with treatment and mental health programs to help those who suffer from addiction. I have a reputation of holding criminals accountable and standing up for victims.
My top priority as Sheriff will be to be visible and approachable to the people I serve in Blue Earth County. My second priority will be to bring leadership and stability to the jail, which has been neglected over the last several years. The men and women who serve at the jail deserve the proper respect and compensation they work hard daily to earn. My third priority will be to enhance the County’s Emergency Management function by hiring a full time professional dedicated to this role.
The biggest challenges include improving somewhat damaged relationships with some local law enforcement, fire departments and other first responders in the region. If elected, I will work collaboratively with local communities as a partner – leveraging our collective experience and expertise to better serve everyone in Blue Earth County. Another challenge will be to return the jail to full staff with employees who are confident that the County stands behind them and respects them.
Transparency begins at the top. As Sheriff, I will be visible and approachable to both employees and citizens. I won’t hide behind a desk. The residents of Blue Earth County deserve a Sheriff’s Office that is accountable as well as one that serves all residents. As Task Force Commander, I have conducted presentations to hundreds of people and answered questions about the issues in our community. As Sheriff, I will continue to be available to all residents of Blue Earth County.
I am an inclusive leader. I listen and learn each day on the job. As Sheriff I will leverage the experience and talents of everyone in the office. The employees I have led for the last 15 years have always known that I will never expect them to do anything I have not done or would not do. Being the leader of this great department comes with the responsibility of being visible and responsive to everyone I serve. I have earned the respect of the Blue Earth County Sheriff’s Office staff.