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Pine County Sheriff

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  • Candidate picture

    Jeff Nelson

  • Candidate picture

    Brett Westbrook

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)

I have been with the Sheriff's Office for 30 years and have run the agency for over 7 years. I have developed the agency into one that the community trusts and engages with. I understand the many different roles that fall under the office of the Sheriff, such as patrol, investigations, dispatch and corrections. Every role has slightly different aspects to them but each are crucial to public safety. I have invested my career in the county and the county has invested in me. Public safety cannot work without a mutual trust and I have established that trust over my career. I also understand that trust can be lost. I have and will continue to ensure that trust is not taken for granted. I am honored to have served you as Sheriff.
I will continue to invest in the community through engagement and transparency. One does not have to look very far from Pine County to see why these are important to both the community and the Sheriff's Office.

I will continued to prioritize employee training. A well trained and capable deputy is the community's best friend.

I will increase my commitment to employee mental health and support. Employees need to feel respected and know how to deal with the stress of their job.

Budget, I have a trusted relationship with the County Board. Changes in technology and staffing all impact the budget. I will continue to advocate for a budget that allows for a high level of public safety and keeps the agency moving forward.

Illegal drugs- We work with a regional taskforce and hold suppliers accountable. Deputies will continue to receive high level training on intervention techniques to detect and prevent drug trafficking.

On going mental health response training
We have always engaged the public through newspaper, radio and social media. Local media and I work well together to keep the residents informed. I am developing an annual report that will show a detailed view of the work the agency has done. I personally have been involved in many groups and meetings. I find that a personal conversation is the best way for me to communicate. I enjoy working with people to find solutions to common concerns. I also encourage people to reach out to me by phone.
Leading by example. I am proud of what I have accomplished during my time with the Sheriff's Office. I have held myself to a high standard of personal responsibility. I expect those that work for me to also have that sense of responsibility. I am accountable to every employee just as they are accountable to me. We are all accountable to the public we serve. I would not ask anyone to do something I would not do, even though my main role is administrative I still respond to calls as needed.
I am not average and do not aspire to be average. Law enforcement changed in 2020. It exposed weak and average leadership. Criminal activity filled the vacuum. I intend to return to law and order and proactive enforcement. Policing is in crisis. It is difficult to recruit and retain quality officers. The deputies on staff need help de-stressing and I have already begun to enact a plan to help them manage their stress levels. I also intend to target talent for needs that exist in the agency. For instance: females. The county has struggled with retaining female deputies due to a 30 year old mentality of workplace policies. The Pine County Sheriff should be a working Sheriff, not an "office" Sheriff. I intend to work.
1. School safety. We have trained educational professionals and county resources to address the "warning signs" that become forefront when there is an issue. Our deputies will be the link that helps identify those individuals and intervenes before we have a crisis. 2. Illicit drug use/overdose. Proactivity will be policy and we will devote resources to help combat our fentanyl and opioid issues. 3. Employee mental, emotional, physical and spiritual fitness. We need fit employees.
Public perception of law enforcement is the biggest challenge. Deputies need to connect with the community in non law-enforcement situations showing their humanity and accessibility. They will be more effective servants in the performance of their duties based upon the trust they've built.
After 2020 the nation demanded transparency. We have cameras and recordings from multiple angles on most events. The issues we are now having regard officer discretion. People wonder why they receive citations and arrests in situations where warnings were past practice. The answer: when you demand transparency, you lose discretion. Officer camera data is available for public access, court and supervisor review. This often removes discretion as an option.
I am a servant leader. I believe that, in order to lead, you must first serve. My career is a testimony in handling my call load and then being proactive in the gaps of activity. I have always aspired to get better and constantly self-evaluate to get better. I believe and have always believed and lived the practice of excessive communication. If everyone knows, then everyone can participate and be on the same page.