I received this message from a resident who was checking out my website HegerforSheriff.com. The resident had some great questions and I thought others may have the same questions so in an effort to remain transparent I made the decision to answer them publicly. Please note, the email was copied exactly as it was received.
What are you hiding?? What Police Department are you currently working for? What rank and leadership experience do you have?? How long have you been in Law Enforcement? A large part of running a Sheriff's Office is running the County Jail. What experience do you have running or working in a County Jail? What Police Management experience or training do you have? What community outreach experience do you have? Have you ever worked in an environment with other Sheriff's Offices? Has any of that work included dealing with the Management of a Sheriff's Office? Do you even know the difference between a Sheriff's duties and that of a Police Chief? What contacts do you have with the State Sheriff's Association, Or other Sheriff's groups? What contact do you have in the Carver County Sheriff's Office? Do you have any experience working with or for the Carver Co. Sheriff's Office?
I am not hiding anything, in fact, I believe transparency is critical. When I decided to run for Sheriff of Carver County I spoke to the administration at my department. As this is new territory for the police department and myself, there were some procedural questions that needed to be answered by the city attorney. Since I greatly respect my department leadership I thought it imperative to work with them in obtaining the answers to the questions that involve my candidacy for the Office of Sheriff in Carver County.
As of April 18, 2018, I received word that I could publicly disclose that I work for the Hopkins Police Department and have done so for the past 11+ years.
In regard to management and leadership, one does not need to have a title to be a leader. The definition of the word “Lead,” according to Dictionary.com (using the top 3) is (1) to go before or with to show the way; conduct or escort (2) to conduct by holding and guiding (3) to influence or induce; cause. Nowhere in the definition does it say one has to have a title to lead. If one can get others to do any of the 3 things as defined, they then are a leader. There is a difference between a leader and a manager. A managers job is to coordinate, plan and organize. A leaders job is to motivate and inspire. The head of an organization cannot do it alone and this is why it’s imperative to have the right people in the right positions. The Carver County Sheriff’s Office has several division heads that have ideas on how to progress the organization forward and I look forward to hearing those ideas. My task as the Sheriff is to assess the strengths and weaknesses of the organization and its employees. As such, I will be sure the right employees are in the correct positions and I will facilitate conversations that can create positive changes both inside and outside of the organization. Everyone in an organization should have a voice because when everyone believes in the mission of the organization and the community believes in the organization the success of the organization is guaranteed.
Much like the current sheriff and the previous sheriff, I will rely on the current Jail Commander, Reed Ashpole and Assistant Jail Administrator, Tracy Dotas to provide me with the information to keep the jail running efficiently. Reed and Tracy are doing a great job running the jail and it shows as it is one area in the sheriff’s office in which the staffing requirements are being maintained according to state guidelines. (Minnesota Administrative Chapter 2911, Jail Facilities Department of Corrections) The jail provides a revenue source that couples with contracts, civil process, fines, grants, etc. to help offset the financial tax impact to the citizens. I believe it is critical to look at maintaining and attempting to increase revenue where we can without cost to the taxpayers. Currently, the 2018 budget for the Sheriff's Office is approximately $20,000,000. The Sheriff's Office takes in approximately $6,000,000 in revenue meaning taxpayers are being asked to fund approximately $14,000,000.
I am a key part of our Community Outreach and Relationship Enhancement (CORE) team. In 2017 we participated in or hosted over 270 community outreach events. With a co-worker, I began an Empower group which worked with girls in 6th grade who showed great leadership skills but struggled with behavior and academic issues. I have been instrumental in securing donations and participating in Cops N Kids Shopping and Cops N Kids Fishing. I have taught personal and internet safety on an ongoing basis to women at a domestic abuse shelter. Every year I teach internet safety, driver safety and drug/alcohol safety to students at several schools. We have a multicultural advisory committee which meets monthly. I attend the meeting every month, learning about the many cultures in the city as well as instructing on active shooter, traffic laws, internet safety, etc. I coordinate the Summer Youth program with a co-worker. The purpose of the program is to continue outreach with juveniles between 12-15 years of age. Two additional events I participate in are the Hopkins Academy (due to overwhelming demand the city hosted 2 academies this spring) and several community academies, that we take out to the public. Both of these academies are designed to create opportunities for understanding the role of law enforcement in the community. At these events I discuss police procedures such as traffic stops and explain various opportunities in law enforcement. In addition I have taught active shooter response to groups at Cargill and the dangers of drowsy driving as well as texting while driving to the management team of Appliance Recycling Centers of America (ARCA). I encourage you to check out the “accolades” section on my website HegerforSheriff.com.
While there are similarities between a Police Chief and a Sheriff, there are clearly defined statutory differences in what a Sheriff is responsible for such as running a jail, providing courtroom security, serving civil process, etc. I understand that both positions are heavily involved in staff management, budgeting, operations and public relations. Historically, a Chief of Police has an intimate knowledge of the community they serve and works to foster a working relationship with citizen groups, the City Manager or Administrator, the Mayor and City Council. Much like the previous sheriff, who came from a city police department, having worked in a both a sheriff’s office and a city police department, I believe I am uniquely qualified to meld the sheriff’s responsibilities with a police chief’s responsibilities. This is also important as the Carver County Sheriff’s Office continues to offer contract policing to the cities within the county. It is imperative that the deputies assigned to those cities are supported and understand the role they play in community relations and meeting the needs of the community they serve.
I look forward to joining both the State Sheriff’s Association and the National Sheriff’s Association after the election as I believe they will expand my networking capabilities and ability to enhance law enforcement initiatives and professionalism.
I have several contacts within the Carver County Sheriff's Office and many of them have reached out to offer assistance with the different divisions I do not have an intimate knowledge of such as the jail, courtroom security, etc. As my campaign continues I look forward to meeting with and listening to as many current and former employees as possible.
Having worked as a 911 dispatcher in the Carver County Sheriff’s Office from 2000-2006, I plan to couple my knowledge of the sheriff’s office and the county with the experience and education I have gained as a police officer and through schooling. By combining these things together, under my leadership, the Carver County Sheriff’s Office will progress forward in our service to the community.
If you or anyone else has any questions, please visit HegerforSheriff.com and contact me using the contact tab.