Changes over the last several years have left the sheriff’s department in need of some revitalization.
One example is the current state of the reserve deputy program. There are now less than 10 reserve deputies. We had an almost full roster over a period of several years which contributed to a very active reserve program.
The benefits that reserve deputies bring to the department and the community. Many of the special events in the county rely on the reserve deputy program to provide extra support and manpower to adequately staff events. The costs savings as noted by neighboring sheriff’s departments have resulted in saving several hundred thousands of dollars a year.
We would work increase the reserve deputies and utilize this valuable program to its fullest extent. The department once has a crisis/hostage negotiating team fully trained by the FBI, and belonging to the Indiana Association of Crisis Hostage Negotiators; an organization that I had the privilege to belong to from its steering committee to its formation and having served as its vice president of membership and training.
The benefits of having trained negotiators far outweigh the fact that they may not be used on a daily basis. This training transcends many facets of law enforcement. One of the department negotiators brought a successful and peaceful resolution to an incident in Enchanted Hills several years ago.
Why would this program be left to wither after having been proven? We would seek to re-establish the team and utilize it when barricaded situation(s) might arise.
We would also reap the benefits of trained negotiators skills for investigative purposes. In this day of forensic science there is a need to be current with the pace of the science.
There is a need for a proper crime lab at the sheriff’s department. A clean laboratory with the tools and resources needed to process evidence. Most of the equipment needed could be obtained through the DMRO/LESO program; a program that is a huge costs saver for small, cash strapped agencies and provides a great deal more than armor and weapons.
A proper laboratory would enable a better environment for the technicians to work and allow more options for the processing of evidence. We will still have a need for assistance from the Indiana State Police Laboratories, but a lab at the local level will expedite items sent for processing and speed up the overall process.
Travis C. Marsh
Independent Candidate for Sheriff