7 candidates, your choice for Barry County sheriff: Danny Boyd, R-Purdy
Publisher's note: The following Q&As represent the candidates' views verbatim, as submitted via email in response to our questions, and have not been edited.
Current Occupation: Investigator for the City of Cassville Police Department
Past Experience: Computer Voice Stress Analysis (CVSA), Field Training Officer, Stalker Radar Certified, B.A.C. Certified, Reid's Technique in Interview and Interrogations Certified, Accident Investigation Certified, First Line Supervisor School; Deputy, Barry County Sheriff's Office; Trooper, Missouri State Highway Patrol; Road Officer, Monett Police Department.
Education: High School -- Purdy High School Graduate 1986, College -- Evangel University, Missouri Valley College
Academy: MSSU Joplin Police Academy, State Highway Patrol Academy
Website: Facebook "Danny Boyd for Barry County Sheriff"
1. Why do you want to be sheriff?
I would like to use my knowledge and experience to make Barry County a safer place to raise a family. Having worked with County and City law enforcement agencies, I have dealt with child sex crimes and other crimes against children, domestic violence, adult sex crimes, and drug addicts. Most of these crimes revolved around drug usage. Cracking down on drugs is a must. I have 20 years experience in law enforcement, including training in investigations and supervisory duties. Having gained experience in the Highway Patrol, County and City Law Enforcement Agencies, I feel this multi-agency experience will aid me in being an affective leader. I feel Barry County deserves to have the most experienced, fair and dedicated leader possible. As Sheriff, I would like to have an open door policy to hear the concerns and issues from the citizens of Barry County. I want to have a working relationship with the public. Being Sheriff and helping the people of Barry County would be the highlight of my career. I plan to work diligently to make Barry County a safer place to raise your family and mine.
2. What makes you more qualified for office than your opponents?
I cannot judge the other candidates, that is for the voting citizens of Barry County to do. Law enforcement is not a job, it is a calling. To be an affective sheriff you first need to realize you work for the citizens who elected you. The experience I can bring to Barry County is as follows:
Computer Voice Stress Analysis (CVSA), Field Training Officer, Stalker Radar Certified, B.A.C. Certified, Reid's Technique in Interview and Interrogations Certified, Accident Investigation Certified, First Line Supervisor School, Investigator City of Cassville Police Department, Deputy, Barry County Sheriff's Office, Trooper, Missouri State Highway Patrol, and Road Officer, Monett Police Department. I have the ability to bridge agencies. I have worked in several different areas throughout the County and have a better idea of what these areas need from the Sheriff's Office. Having lived in the Northern part and worked in the Southern part of the County, I have a much wider view of the County needs. I have the experience and dedication to serve and protect, which should be the mission statement of any Sheriff.
3. What changes do you plan to make in the Sheriff''s Office?
We have a very good department at the present time. Mick Epperly is to be commended on the job he has done. I would plan to continue to build on the organization that is in place. We need to be aware of budgetary constraints and plan wisely rather than throwing money at problems. Barry County citizens ultimately pay the bill and we need to be wise in how we spend their money. I would work very close with the Commissioners to get items, equipment and training for the deputies to make them able to do their job more effectively. I want to lead a department that has public safety at the forefront. The Sheriff's Office needs to use all resources available including public involvement by offering education on knowing what to look for in regards to criminal activity. I feel that getting our citizens more involved will help deter drug activity. I would like the Barry County Sheriff's Department to be a citizens first thought when they need help. Instead of making changes, I would like to build on the current organization and move forward together for the citizens of Barry County.
4. What specific goals do you plan to accomplish in your first term?
My primary goal would be to identify resources needed for the Sheriff's Department to continue to build on the current organization and to have an open discussion regarding budgetary needs. This approach will help set objectives by re-prioritizing budget line items to reflect the vision of the department. Another goal is to establish communication between the Sheriff's Office and the public regarding concerns and issues the citizens of Barry County may have. I want to work hard at building trust and integrity between the public and the Sheriff's Office. Also, to have better communication and coordination among the other agencies. There is also a need to establish a response plan with every county school and practice it once a year. My goal is to promote a safe and secure environment, maintain order and provide a safer Barry County. I want to practice our core values of integrity, respect, service and fairness. I would like to build a strong organization through leadership, innovation, and community involvement.
5. How will you increase funding for the sheriff's office?
Additional funding may be available through grants. This is especially true when looking at equipment upgrades and special programs. One needs to be always mindful for possible strings that may be attached to such grants. The Federal government would like to be more intrusive in the control of local law enforcement agencies and this cannot be allowed. So we need to be cautious with grants we apply for. The important thing is to try to maximize how we spend the money we do have. One way is to scrutinize current spending patterns, eliminate waste, and bid out large purchases to create competitive pricing options. We should put the money into line items that keep citizens and property safe. If it doesn't add value, keep the people and their property safe, or make us a better department, it should be cut.
6. What, specifically, will you do to reduce the drug problem in Barry County?
The drug problem is a steadily growing issue that has continued to grow over the last several years. We can work at increasing effectiveness in the DARE program, but that does not address the root causes. We can make it clear to those involved in the drug culture and are manufacturing and selling drugs that they are unwelcome in our County. We need to give quick attention to citizens complaints regarding drug activity and provide citizens with the knowledge of what to look for. We also need to let the community know that they can leave drug activity information anonymously without the fear of being retaliated against. If you disrupt the day to day activities of the drug manufacturers and dealers they will either correct the problem or they will go somewhere else. Regardless, it is imperative to have the public involved to help accomplish reducing the drug problem in Barry County. We may never entirely get rid of the drug issue, but with community involvement we can drastically reduce the drug problem.
7. What, if any, specific personnel changes will you make in the sheriff's office? Why?
I don't foresee any specific personnel changes in the Sheriff's Department. I will spend a lot of time observing, listening, and evaluating the needs of the department to make sure we have all the information to make the right personnel decisions. There may be some restructuring regarding administrative duties to better fit the department. The first action would be to have a meeting with all the personnel and explain my expectations regarding the department and their duties. Then meet with each one personally, to get their thoughts on what changes they believe should be made. I want to have an open door policy, where personnel can come in to my office to voice concerns and issues they are dealing with. The Barry County Sheriff's Office has great group of personnel and I look forward to working with them if I am elected as Sheriff.
8. What are your thoughts on body cameras? Is that something you will try to implement in the department? Why or why not?
The department I currently work for has body cameras. From a personal point of view, I feel that body cameras are a very good tool. They have helped officers when dealing with complaints and have cleared the officers on several occasions. It helps keeps the officer and the public ethical. Plus it is a good learning tool for the officer and other officers to learn how to diffuse certain situations. It is great for court purposes, so the prosecutor and the Judge are able to see first hand the situation that the officer is handling. It helps as an administrator to see if a department policy was violated. The body camera can capture things that the naked eye can't, which can help in investigations also. Implementing body cameras would depend on budget and the need of the department.