Lake Superior Area Realtors Candidate Questionnaire

Recently, Chad was given the opportunity to answer some important questions from the Lake Superior Area Relators Association to participate in an educational forum. Below, please read his answers:

2022 St. Louis County Sheriff Candidate Questionnaire
Lake Superior Area REALTORS®, Inc.

 

Q:  In your opinion, what is the best thing that’s happened recently in St. Louis County regarding public safety and how do we build on it?

 

A: I have been campaigning for about 21 months, one of the first things I have said that I would like to do if I am elected is to implement body cams within the Sheriff’s Department. It seems that I was heard because body cams have suddenly become a part of the department. This is, by far, one of the best developments the Sheriff’s Department has made recently. Transparency and honesty are an absolute must in today’s world. With the use of body cams, there is no more “he said, she said” but solid proof and facts to back up the stories. The use of body cams will be able to keep open the lines of communication between officers and the public and between officers and their superiors. Discussions about what comes next after an incident will be more fruitful because they will not have to spend as much time finding out what happened, the proof will be right in front of them. The key here is transparency, communication, and integrity. Body cams encompass all of these traits that the department should possess.



Q:  What are the challenges the Sheriff’s office is facing? Which one keeps you up at night?

 

A:  Throughout the past months that I have spent talking to people all over the county, I have spoken to some of the current deputies to hear their thoughts on what the challenges are within the Sheriff’s office. However, I do not currently work within the department, so I cannot say for certain what my opinion is on these challenges. I can say what I see, as a member of the community, is that public safety is a major concern. Upon speaking to the residents in the Northern portion of our county, I have discovered a major lack of deputies to respond to calls. If you are in the midst of a crisis, would you want to wait an hour or more for help? Nobody would prefer that; this is why I think we need to add more bodies in the Northern portion of our county to ensure that everyone gets the help they need in a timely fashion. If this means hiring more deputies, then that is exactly what needs to happen. Our residents are far too important to not show up for them in times of need.



Q:  What ideas do you have on further developing community engagement in St. Louis County broadly and specifically with other municipalities you partner with?

 

A: Community engagement is a crucial part of running our county smoothly and effectively. This is another topic that I have spoken about to great lengths over the past 21 months. I would like to hold neighborhood watch style meetings for community members where they can discuss current events and concerns they have among themselves. The best people to know what is going on in a specific area are the people that actually live there. I believe prevention is much more effective than correction. By that, I mean if community members are aware of the possibility of suspicious activity, they may be able to take action to prevent it from happening rather than having to correct the behavior and pick up the pieces after an event has happened. This starts with families and community members talking to each other about what they see going on and making a plan to take care of the issue before it becomes a problem. I believe that all law enforcement needs to be on the same page about this and all matters. If the different departments within our county can work together as a team, we will be much more effective in engaging our communities. Seeing law enforcement working together and including the community will show them that we are all a part of the bigger picture. Making a difference starts at the family level



Q:  In your opinion, what is the greatest public safety related issue currently facing St. Louis County?  What is your plan for addressing this safety issue?

A: By far, the greatest public safety issue in St. Louis County and all over the country is mental health. Access to mental health services is not only limited, but unattainable due to costs and stigma involved in treating mental health issues. There has been an incredible influx in violence over the past few years and I believe it stems from untreated mental health issues. This is not a matter of taking away the weapons used in committing crimes, but treating the problem that causes a person to dive off the deep end and commit an unlawful act. Instead of allowing children to drop through the cracks of the system, we need to raise them up with programs like Big Brothers/Big Sisters. Catching them early and steering them in the right direction is much more fruitful than correcting the problems that arise later on. This is not an easy issue to fix with a simple answer, it would take a lot of planning with legislators, law enforcement, and community members to find the best route to start healing our county from the mental health crisis it is facing. Cross training our deputies as social workers can help to alleviate the stress that a person feels in a moment of crisis. If our deputies have the knowledge and training to deescalate a situation from a healthcare worker’s perspective and not just a law enforcement perspective, they have the potential of stopping the crime from ever happening in the first place.  

 

Q:  What is one thing Lake Superior Area REALTORS® Association members would be surprised to learn about what the Sheriff’s office does? 

 

A: The Sheriff’s office is more than just a law enforcement agency. They are there to protect the rights that we, as citizens of the United States, are given. The laws are put in place as a way of providing a civil society to keep communities and law enforcement officers safe. The Sheriff is elected by the people of the county, therefore they work for the people. This is something that I would like to make sure the people of St. Louis County realize. If I am elected as Sheriff, I will be there to protect you and serve you.

 

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