In his bid to be 100% transparent with the people of St. Louis County, Chad would like you to see the questions he received from the St. Louis County Deputy Sheriff’s Association and his responses. These responses were an attempt to win the endorsement of the SLCDSA. Unfortunately, the Association decided to endorse a different candidate. But this is a great opportunity for us to show you what Chad had to say:
24 March, 2022
Chad Walsh- Sheriff candidate 2022
Request for endorsement
Dear St. Louis County Deputy Sheriff’s Association,
I am writing to respectfully request the endorsement of the members of the St. Louis County Deputy
Sheriff’s Association for my election to the office of Sheriff for St. Louis County. Below, you will
find my responses to your questions.
1. Why do you want to be Sheriff of St. Louis County? I’ve watched all 249 episodes of the
Andy Griffith Show… twice, but in seriousness, I want to move St. Louis County forward in
a way that allows for changes to be made that will increase the quality of life while lowering
crime rates. I want to create a united team of Law Enforcement Officers and the
community. I believe it is time for a new perspective on how the Sheriff’s Department is run.
I am community driven in all aspects of my life. I have many years of experience in the
military, in law enforcement and in running businesses. Law enforcement is not just about
upholding the constitution, but about customer service, as well. We are there for the people of
our county and I want them to look up to the Sheriff’s department as an entity that is there to
protect their way of life. As a law enforcement officer, I took an oath to uphold the
constitution and I believe the people of our county deserve to have someone who believes in
the constitution providing support for them.
2. What is your knowledge of the culture of the Sheriff’s Office? What would you keep the
same and change? I feel it is an advantage to say that I do not have previous knowledge of
the culture within the Sheriff’s Office. I am not currently a part of the office, which gives me
a great perspective to see how the culture affects each individual and the groups within the
office. Based on the questions asked here, I can see that there are issues begging to be
resolved by a new set of eyes. What I plan on bringing to the table of the Sheriff’s Office is
the knowledge I have gained from running my two businesses. I look at the county as a large
business that needs great leadership to be able to flourish. I understand that there are
problems relating to a separation in North and South St. Louis Counties, there are
compensation deficits, and a lack of morale within the employees of the department. Here is
how I will address these issues. Good morale and leadership come from the top. We are a
large team that needs to work together to make sure everyone is treated equally and feels
appreciated. I lead by example and will continue to do so in the role of Sheriff. The Sheriff’s
Department is nothing without the people that make up their team. This team includes the
911 Call Center, the jail, the deputies, and even the office workers. Leadership does not mean
“I,” but it means “we.” Together, we can empower and encourage growth in our peers and
within the department.
3. How do you plan to address the separation of North and South? I want all deputies,
whether they are in the North or South of our county, to show a unified front to the
community members and to their own coworkers. This is a management problem that should
not be tolerated or allowed. I would like to develop programs that will unify the training
received between all members of the department. I will look at the need for equitable
distribution of equipment as well as promotions within the departments. North St. Louis
County is severely lacking in man-power. I would like to add more deputies to the North to
ensure the safety of both the officers and citizens. We are all a team and part of the same
great county. I will make it my goal to dissolve the line between North and South.
4. What do you see as the main issues facing the office and how will you address them?
Again, not being a part of the current Sheriff’s Department, I may not have a firm grasp on
the issues facing the department. However, my outside perspective means that I am coming
into the department without any preconceived notions or opinions about the issues. This
allows me to step back and take a look at what is causing them and gives me an opportunity
to fix them. From what I have heard on the campaign trail, there are issues with morale
within the department due to inequalities and also the public perception of the department is
lacking in terms of respect and acceptance. People will spread the word about poorly
perceived people much more quickly than the positive ones. If the Sheriff or a deputy is in
uniform, they must be looking their best at all times. Professionalism must be held to the Nth
degree. This starts with management and the leadership team. Anyone within the department
who interacts with the public will be trained in public relations, this includes existing and
new employees. This is extremely important, as we are in the business of public relations
when we are not providing law enforcement services. I believe management needs to
incentivize creative thinking and good work. This is a culture change that I think should
happen within the department and between the North and South divide. Nobody is above the
other, we are a team that must work together. I am not the type of person to simply talk about
problems, but I like to solve them and implement that solution.
5. What are some changes you are planning for the Sheriff’s office? I would like to establish
a public relations department in order to create a united front for the community members to
see. Transparency is paramount and a public relations department would ensure transparency
in everything that goes on within the department. I intend on changing the culture from the
idea of “us versus them” to “we,” as in we are all a part of the bigger picture. I would like to
educate St. Louis County on the needs of the department so that the citizens understand who
is working for them. Our deputies need increased pay in order to bring up morale and to
make them feel as if they are valuable to the county. I will push for increased pay and to
increase the number of officers in the regions that are currently lacking. I believe the issues
with leadership need to be addressed, as well. These issues include changing the culture in
the department to make it a place that people want to work. There should be a great sense of
pride in what a Sheriff’s Deputy, Jailer, Communications Operator and Administrative
Support Specialist does. With pride comes happiness, the citizens will see this and be
comforted by this.
6. What are some projects that you will implement? What would you eliminate? The
Sheriff’s department should be run like a business, it is the business of customer service and
law enforcement. Coming into the department with a fresh look at how things have been run
will allow me the opportunity to assess the current programs and projects. Once I have had a
chance to judge the benefit or disadvantage of them, I will eliminate the unnecessary ones
and create vital programs for increasing morale, limiting barriers to promotions, increasing
public awareness and perception, just to name a few. Until I have had a chance to judge how
the programs are currently functioning, I will look at the department as a large corporation
that needs great leadership to run smoothly.
7. How do you plan to address lagging compensation? Compensation, from what I have
heard, is one of the biggest issues within St. Louis County. We cannot expect our law
enforcement officers to put their lives on the line without being compensated fairly. Not only
that, but pay should be equal across the county. My plan is to bring this issue to the board.
We will address the board with the weight of the people behind us. Compensation should be
equal in comparison to the job being done by others in the same position. This is something
that will break down barriers within the department. People need to feel that they are being
treated fairly and equally and with the respect they deserve. I will encourage everyone
working for the Sheriff’s department to show the public that they are worth a raise, the public
response should mimic this feeling. With a change in culture, the community members will
be able to see where their tax dollars are going and why it is such a worthy cause.
8. What is your plan to recruit and retain quality candidates? By changing the culture
within the department, the current employees will exude happiness and a willingness to work.
They will be walking advertisements for the department that say “come work with us, this is
a good place to be.” When the environment changes, the people change with it. This change
will be felt and seen by any potential candidate. I believe that if you can make a situation
where the employees have pride in their work, this will speak volumes about the leadership
behind them. As I have stated, everything comes from the top. It starts with management and
trickles down from there. Good management will retain good employees without having to
try. When any of the department job candidates see this culture of working together as a team
with great leadership, it will recruit candidates naturally.
9. What do you plan on doing to address employee morale? I feel that I have addressed this
issue in previous questions. It is a culmination of all my answers, starting with leadership
making changes that will show the employees their worth and ensure their longevity with the
department. However, it is not up to just the Sheriff to make this happen, it is up to everyone
working together. A large part of this is also making sure the employees of the Sheriff’s
Department understand that leadership is not there to control, but to listen with an open mind,
encourage new ideas, allow two-way conversations, and to explain why something should be
done rather than just commanding in a way that makes others feel inferior. Bringing equality
into the Sheriff’s department will help to even the playing field for everyone, thus raising
morale amongst the department. Morale is directly related to productivity. We cannot show
the taxpayers that we are using their money unwisely with an unproductive department that
does not want to put extra effort into their work. We want to show the citizens that we live
and work for the safety of everyone.
I welcome the opportunity to address these questions in further detail at the request of the
association. Thank you for your attention and consideration.