| || ||
Welcome to the new home of Lee's Summit Tribune. We are dedicated to providing you the most current and accurate news and events in Lee's Summit
Mike Sharp, Jackson Sheriff Running for Re...
Mike Sharp, Jackson Sheriff Running for Re Election Answers Candidate Questions
July 28, 2012
Incumbent Mike Sharp is running against fellow Democrats
Dwon Littlejohn and Randy Poletis for Jackson County Sheriff
in the August primary. Because there is not a Republican entered
in the race, the winner will not face an opponent in the
November election, so this election should decide the new sheriff.
The primary election is Aug. 7.
Name: Mike Sharp
Occupation: Jackson County Sheriff
Organization membership: N/A
Volunteer information: N/A
Jackson County Resident: 53 years
Education: I am proud to have grown up and attended school in southern Jackson County. I graduated from Central Missouri State University in 1981 with a bachelor’s degree in Fire Science and a minor in Criminal Justice, and completed the Regional Police Training Academy.
Experience: During college, I served from 1977 to 1981 as a volunteer firefighter for the Lee’s Summit Fire Department. I then spent 26 years as a full-time and reserve officer with the Kansas City Police Department. I was elected Sheriff of Jackson County in 2008 and graduated from the FBI Academy in 2010
Employer: The taxpayers of Jackson County Missouri
1. Define what the job is as a county sheriff in Missouri?
The Sheriff manages the overall operations of the department, which in Jackson County includes 100-plus deputies and civilian employees, with a current annual budget of $8.3 million. The Sheriff is responsible for the overall direction, co-ordination, and evaluation of each unit (crime, traffic, courthouse security, narcotics, sex offender registration etc) within the department. He carries out supervisory responsibilities in accordance with the County’s policies and applicable laws. Responsibilities include interviewing, hiring, and training employees; planning, assigning, and directing work; appraising performance; rewarding and disciplining employees; addressing complaints and resolving problems.
2. What do you feel are the Sheriff’s chief responsibilities to the citizens of Jackson County?
Protecting the fundamental safety, rights and dignity of the people of Jackson County. ALL of the people of Jackson County, no matter their color, creed or station.
3. What services that the Sheriff’s office provides to the citizens of Jackson County would you say are the most needed, understood and appreciated?
In addition to providing prompt and professional law enforcement to the Citizens of Jackson County, my goal as Sheriff is to continue to decrease the number of non-compliant sex offenders living in Jackson County Missouri. When I took office January 1, 2009, only about 50% of the reported sex offenders in Jackson County were compliant. Today the registered sex offender compliance rate is around 92%. The Sheriff’s Office is required by the State of Missouri to register all sex offenders reported living in Jackson County and report the data back to the Missouri State Patrol. The response to our efforts from parents and grandparents throughout Jackson County has been absolutely tremendously positive and supportive.
4. What would you say are your proudest accomplishments in law enforcement?
Increasing cooperation with local municipal police departments, MARC Region Law Enforcement Agencies, surrounding Sheriff’s Offices, and the Missouri State Patrol. Collectively working together, law enforcement agencies can better protect and serve our communities and businesses while saving tax payers money by sharing resources without duplicating services. I would like to add that under my administration the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office increased self-initiated law enforcement activities 670% and improved the department’s average response times on calls for service.
5. Why are you the best candidate for Sheriff at this time?
I feel I have been a fair, frugal and progressive Sheriff. In my inaugural term as Sheriff, we streamlined management of the department, expanded cooperation with surrounding law enforcement agencies, bolstered minority hiring and training and updated citizens services, including launching a crackdown on the residency requirements of known sex offenders, and introducing a web safety program for parents and their computer savvy children.
I believe this department has vastly improved in performance and transparency, that we have been extremely efficient with taxpayer dollars, and that we can make even more improvements. That’s why I am running for another term.
I am proud to have the unanimous endorsement of the Board of Directors of the West Central Missouri Fraternal Order of Police, representing more than 2,000 police officers and deputies in the Metro area.
6. What changes would you make as Sheriff at the office in these next four years?
My goal as Sheriff is to continue to decrease the number of non-compliant sex offenders living in Jackson County Missouri. When I took office January 1, 2009, only about 50% of the reported sex offenders in Jackson County were compliant. Today the registered sex offender compliance rate is around 92%. The Sheriff’s Office is required to register all sex offenders reported living in Jackson County and report the data back to the Missouri State Patrol.
Complete the new 800 MHz radio communication system that will allow deputies to keep in real-time contact with other municipal law enforcement agencies in the seven county MARC Region when responding to emergency calls for service. The Sheriff’s Office dispatches for 8 municipal law enforcement agencies, so the new radio system also upgrades radio communications for those municipalities. As sheriff, I am not willing to leave any municipality without emergency radio service.
7. Given budget reductions and restraints, how can the Sheriff’s department remain functional, effective, and innovative?
By using our human, professional and equipment resources better and smarter. That means raising the bar on performance expectations from our deputies and civilian staffs, weeding out non-productive positions, programs and equipment. As noted, by sharing more resources and cooperating more with other law enforcement departments in the county, we can not only maintain today’s quality level of service, but improve upon it.
8. What is your approach to the hiring, training, and retention of minorities in law enforcement?
In my three plus years as Sheriff of Jackson County, we have significantly increased the number and presence of women and minorities in our command and deputy staff by 10 percent. Currently 25% of our sworn deputies are minority and/or female.
Annual cultural and diversity training for deputies at the Sheriff’s office is a requirement of employment. I also adhere to the same diversity training standard. I encourage our deputies to acquire pertinent foreign language skills, and my office will reimburse them upon successful completion of any pre-approved language classes. The Sheriff’s Office has translators available to deputies in the field, and we have a full-time law enforcement translator at the courthouse that speaks fluent Spanish.
9. In your law enforcement career, have you ever been fired, reprimanded or asked to resign?
I have never been fired or asked to resign. In the process of learning and maturing as a police officer I was subject to the occasional reprimand for minor infractions.
10. What fiscal policy changes would you as Sheriff implement in the next four years?
The county legislature has remained very supportive of the mission of the Jackson County Sheriff’s department, while, out of necessity, reducing departmental budgets and expenses. Going forward, we need to support our deputies with better pay and benefits for in order to attract and keep good, committed and well-trained law enforcement professionals.
11. What is your personal moral code, and how will it affect your decisions as Sheriff?
I am not perfect. No one is. But as a fourth generation peace officer, I believe strongly in abiding by, and upholding the laws of our society and treating people with respect.
12. Where do you stand on CCW (Conceal and Carry Weapons)?
I simply respect and uphold the current laws of our county and our state.
13. What kind of laws do you need from the legislators to better serve and protect the citizens of Jackson County?
I would like to see ever stronger laws to protect our children from sexual predators, and more COMBAT resources directed to pro-active law enforcement.
Dwon Littlejohn http://lstribune.net/lees-summit-news/candidate-for-jackson-county-sheriff-dwon-littlejohn-answers-candidate-questions.htm
Mike Sharp http://lstribune.net/lees-summit-news/mike-sharp-jackson-sheriff-running-for-re-election-answers-candidate-questions.htm
Randy Poletis http://lstribune.net/lees-summit-news/candidate-for-jackson-county-sheriff-randy-poletis-answers-candidate-questions.htm
Air Force Academy - Talon Townley from Lee's Summit West