On Wednesday, May 7, Travis Marsh, a lieutenant with Milford Police Department, announced his run for sheriff of Kosciusko County as an independent candidate (see related).
According to Marsh, though he has served as a Republican town council member on North Webster Town Council in the past, his run and potential tenure as sheriff would focus strictly on law enforcement, not politics.
“When you look at me, I’m a career law enforcement officer with a broad spectrum of experience with law enforcement, not politics. I won’t be in there seeking to be a career politician,” explained Marsh.
Marsh noted that a major challenge of his campaign will be encouraging straight ticket voters to vote outside their political party for an independent category. Before he can be added to the election ballet, Marsh must first procure all necessary petition signatures. Those interested in signing Marsh’s petition are encouraged to attend the Milford Festival on May 24. Marsh noted he will be working during the festival, but volunteers will be ready to meet with the public to receive signatures.
“The petition is in full-force and we have more request for signatures to get on the petition than we have petitions out right now,” stated Marsh. “We have a lot of people excited, which excites us.”
Though Marsh does not have funding or backing of a political party, he is not letting that scare him away from addressing what he believes are the big issues facing the county and the sheriff’s department. Should Marsh be elected as sheriff, he noted officers at the sheriff’s department would undergo a 2-year accreditation process that would “take the sheriff’s department to the next level of professionalism.”
“We have a talent pool that is very capable of seeking accreditation,” he explained. “It is a 2-year process and it gives us a chance to actually audit the department. In the second year, we get accreditation evaluation to make sure we meet all the standards. It would take into account a lot of operations, such as how evidence is kept, and would find areas where things could be done better. I believe in a constant process of improvement. The way we did things 8 years ago may still work well, but could it work better?”
In addition, accreditation, Marsh said he would activate a full-time juvenile officer who would work hand in hand with probation officers to monitor juvenile activity, assist in setting up counseling for juveniles who are having trouble and help at alternative schools locally. Marsh also noted his plan to put someone in a position to manage warrants.
“While warrants are served when officers have discretionary time on shift, there is not a single officer assigned to serve, manage and prioritize warrant service. We would put an officer in charge of warrants. Serving and managing criminal and civil warrants getting these warrants served in a timelier manner will benefit the residents and businesses of Kosciusko County,” explained Marsh.
He also plans to have the department seek training mandates not done at other agencies. Those include more interdiction training as well as advance interviewing and interrogation skills, which Marsh believes are skills all officers can utilize to streamline activities. Marsh also has plans to combat issues residents face locally, such as methamphetamine use and production.
“We have a drug task force division in the sheriff’s department and Warsaw Police Department. We have two agencies trying to do the same thing and communications are hampered. I would like to unify these agencies, which is something the prosecutor is working on. Kosciusko County has not been an active participant in the monthly CDE meetings held by the Kosciusko County Prosecutor. These meetings are meant for area agencies to update and share information; to seek a reunified task force will improve and bolster drug enforcement efforts.”
Marsh noted that visibility to the public is important to him. Instead of staying behind his office doors, he would like to continue his time in a patrol car acting as a “working sheriff.”
“I would be in a car on the road several hours a week. The sheriff needs to be accessible to the public; this cannot be achieved solely from the office,” he said. “Residents do not always have the chance to travel to the sheriff’s office. The same can be said of local police departments. I intend to visit on a regular basis the state and local agencies serving the county to build and maintain liaisons.”
For more information on Marsh and his campaign, or to find where to sign a petition for his candidacy, click HERE.