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Letter: Past Sheriff Dan Stevens endorses Quakenbush

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Editor,

The elected sheriff assumes three core job duties when taking office:

  • Provide law enforcement protection for the unincorporated population of the county and assist, when needed, those municipal and town police departments protecting the incorporated population.
  • Operate and maintain the county jail and juvenile detention center.
  • Serve and protect the seven state courts housed in the Government and Judicial Center.

The sheriff’s operating budget is $17.3 million, which includes 216 personnel and a fleet of more than 100 vehicles. The staff consists of 61 sworn police officers, 131 staff assigned to the corrections operation and 24 civilian staff. The next sheriff will face many challenges:

  • Continue to work with state and local police departments to address the opioid crisis in our community.
  • Define an operational program for an expanding jail population impacted by substance abuse and mental health issues.
  • Evaluate the most effective strategy for protecting the shrinking unincorporated.

Hamilton County has the fourth-largest county population in the state and continues to be among the fastest-growing in the nation. Hamilton County remains the best place in Indiana to live, work, raise a family and enjoy a safe quality of life. The dedicated employees of your sheriff’s department have contributed significantly to achieving that goal.

The sheriff will always have county-wide law enforcement jurisdiction and should maintain a well-trained, professional and dedicated patrol staff to protect our citizens and assist the municipalities where needed. Only the sheriff operates the county jail and only the sheriff protects the state courts housed at the judicial center. Your next sheriff must choose wisely how to spend your tax dollars to operate this $17.3 million business while adapting to the reality of the department’s changing operational environment.

Capt. Dennis Quakenbush possesses the common sense maturity, the leadership skills, the business management training and the practical law-enforcement experience to meet this challenge.

Dennis will serve the citizens of Hamilton County well. I support Capt. Dennis Quakenbush for your next sheriff.

Sheriff Dan Stevens (retired)


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