Feature- 10 questions for sheriff candidates - here are the answers (AD FREE-CLICK LINK)




The questions were presented to all four candidates VIA Facebook Messenger on their candidate pages on 4/26/20222, each was notified that we were doing this on 4/21/2022.


We provided an exact equal opportunity for each candidate to answer. Two of the four candidates came forward to answer our questions, We required this to run through Facebook Messenger so we could copy and paste their answers word for word.


We were very clear - see the original story- I listed this link for easy reference.

https://www.madisoncountynewsnetwork.com/post/we-are-doing-a-10-questions-session-with-sheriff-candidates-but-we-need-your-help


No commentary from us, we encourage you to become familiar with whom you are voting for.

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Each candidate had an opportunity to answer these questions, the first to respond is first the second to respond will be second, and so forth...


We posted these questions earlier this week, but if you missed them, here they are again.


Posted 4/26/2022 at 1:24 PM

Question One In your opinion, what is Madison County’s most pressing law enforcement issue?

Question Two: What do you see as the Sheriff's primary role?

Question Three: Why do you want to be the sheriff?

Question Four: Describe your law enforcement/managerial experience

Question Five: Do you consider yourself to have good morals and integrity? Why?

Question Six • What are some challenges you've faced in the past, and how have you dealt with them?

Question Seven • How do you determine which priorities are most important in an emergency situation?

Question Eight • In what ways are you working on self-improvement?

Question Nine • What is your favorite thing about our community?

Question Ten- Do you have a plan of action to maintain jail safety?


Two of the candidates for Tuesday's election have answered the questions.


 

John Beeman answered:

  1. The most pressing issue that impacts the general public is the drug epidemic. But that is just a short answer, you have to take into account all of the interwoven socio-economic issues that are interconnected to the drug epidemic and the other crimes that are linked to the illicit drug use, gun violence, robberies, thefts. The sheriff can have a role in combating this issue, but it will take far greater comprehensive participation by law-enforcement, courts, clergy, probation and of course the public to make an appreciable difference.

  2. The role of the sheriff is defined statutorily under Indiana Code, for example, housing and care of prisoners, serve the courts, civil process, etc. I see the position as someone who can bring together the various entities in local law-enforcement and other community groups to build a comprehensive plan to work on various issues that can be addressed by law enforcement and are within the purview of law enforcement in the communities.

  3. The last fifteen years of my career with the US Marshals Service I worked directly with sheriffs, police chiefs and agency leaders and I learned a lot of things in that time from each of the individuals I worked with. There was a tremendous amount of good learning experiences and a few of "what not to do". My thirty years of training and leadership experience gives me a perspective that I feel would keep moving the Madison County Sheriff's Department forward and it is unique amongst the current candidates. I have lived a life of service to this country, state and my community.

  4. My first managerial experience was a a Non-Commissioned Officer in the US Army as a squad leader in an Anti-Tank Platoon. My law enforcement began when I was hired by the US Marshals Service in 1991. In 1995 I had been elevated to the role of Deputy In Charge of the Fort Wayne Division. I was responsible for the well being and the safe detention of over one hundred in-custody defendants. I scheduled prisoner transportations and court room productions, civil process and investigations, judicial and courthouse security. I also had oversight of the junior deputies assigned to the division and their assignments. In 2006, I was promoted to the United States Marshals Service Investigative Division in Chicago and worked under the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force. In this position I overseen the OCDETF fugitive investigations for Michigan, Ohio and Indiana. These investigations involved multi-national drug organizations and high level defendants. In 2007, I transferred to the Indianapolis office to supervise the fugitive task force. When I arrived the task force consisted of seven federal, state and local officers and located in one office, Indianapolis. When I retired in December 2021 I supervised all of the US Marshals Service task force operations in Indiana. I had personnel in Indianapolis, Fort Wayne, South Bend, Hammond, Terre Haute, Evansville and New Albany. I supervised over fifty task force officers and federal agents. I oversaw the task force overtime, training, equipment, travel and vehicle budgets. I collaborated with sheriffs, police chiefs and agency leaders to work towards a common goal of safer communities.

  5. I entered the US Army in 1984 and I was instilled with Duty, Honor Country. I have conducted my professional and personal life following those words.

  6. The hardest challenge I dealt with in my LE career was the loss of the two police officers in the line of duty conducting fugitive investigations. I dealt with these events with Faith and the knowledge that the men and women in law enforcement make the conscious decision everyday to suit up and go out and do things that no one else will to make a difference.

  7. Based upon training and experience you would assess the situation and start making decisions. Clearly, you prioritize human life over material things and work towards a solution that minimizes your exposure to death or injury and bring the situation to a close.

  8. Prior to retirement I attended training continuously to keep abreast of the new trends in law enforcement, techniques and case law as it pertained to my profession. Since retirement I have been able to be more involved in the youth shooting programs that I volunteer in and I plan to attend training that will enhance my coaching abilities.

  9. The people, it is our greatest asset and I am continuously amazed at the kindness, generosity and friendships I have made during my whole life here in Madison County.

  10. All jails already have a "plan of action" for a variety of events. It is one of the items the US Marshal Service inspects for when contracting a jail for housing federal prisoners. If elected as the next sheriff I would begin a review of all protocols and policies at the department to ascertain their current viability and usefulness. The safety of the jail staff and the defendants are paramount in the day to day operation of the jail.


 

Kimberly Stigall answered:

1. The most pressing issue that Madison County Law Enforcement deals with today is a two-tiered problem, Drug Abuse and Mental Illness. I believe this is spiraling out of control and causing more to be homeless and an increase in crime. I feel that we, as law enforcement, only have so many resources available and often, we treat drug abuse, more as a criminal offense, than a mental illness or an addiction problem. Over the years, Law Enforcement across the country has aimed to arrest their way out of the drug problem; when in fact, our failure to get these individuals proper treatment and rehab has now compounded the problem by leading to mental illness. In Madison County, I believe our local law enforcement and our courts have recognized this problem and that we are starting to properly treat verses always arresting or incarcerating. However, our community still has a shortfall of resources available, which makes it challenging for family and friends and even us in law enforcement to get our loved ones into the proper treatment to avoid the long-term effects of mental illness and drug abuse. From the research I have done, there is seven in patient mental health hospitals in Indiana, which includes one for children. Between all the hospitals, there are less than 1,000 beds. In my experience, those that are most severe gets inpatient help, while the others are only given guidance to tackle this on their own. Expecting someone to continuously reach out for help hinders the willingness to seek it. Therefore, I feel this is the most pressing issue within our community.


2. As the highest-ranking Law Enforcement Official in the county, I feel the primary role of the Sheriff is to build a solid working relationship with all local law enforcement and community leaders to establish open lines of communication, education, and training, and to build the team of resources available, so that every stakeholder is working in unison to produce the best results for our community. I feel by creating this network and having all stakeholders on your team, the Sheriff’s true responsibilities of maintaining the jail, providing courthouse security, and serving and protecting the citizens of this community will be a greater success. We all have heard the term “To serve and to protect”, this is not a deed for one individual alone. It is a team effort! I have said numerous times, “We are Better Working Together!”


3. We all see that change is needed and I realize that if I do nothing, I am part of the problem! I’m not a politician, but a hard-working compassionate officer and citizen that cares about the community and knows the areas that needs improvement. I have worked for the Sheriff’s Department for over twenty years in the jail the courthouse and patrol and I know there is a need to address mental health, drug abuse, school safety, and recruitment and retention of officers. I want to increase the number of officers on the road and jail and be sure the jail is equipped to hold offenders safely and provide mental health treatment. I will work to build relationships with educators, professionals, and doctors to make progress. My diversity of education in muti-facets in Public Safety has equipped with the skills to take on this role and bring the Sheriff’s Department to the next level. I am the only Republican Sheriff Deputy/ Candidate that has been born, raised, and worked primarily in Madison County! We are stronger working together!


4. I have served in the courthouse, the jail and patrol. Since I have been on patrol, I have increased my responsibility in becoming the first Animal Control Officer for the Madison County Sheriff’s Department. I helped implement the ordinance of the county as well as get policy changed for the Sheriff’s Department. My leadership in this area has led to me being contacted by agencies locally and nationally. This task I took on knowing there was no increase in pay or rank, because I had the passion to make change! Eventually an incentive of pay was added to compensate the responsibility. Since I first learned of the Sheriff’s Honor Guard Team, I expressed and interest and was accepted. This has led to me volunteering to be on the Indiana Sheriff’s Association Honor Guard Team. To further my involvement with the Sheriff’s Department, I was accepted on the Serious Bodily Injury and Fatal Crash Team. I’ve expanded my knowledge and skills to help respond to community issues by becoming an EMT, Firefighter, Hazardous Awareness and Operation 1st Responder, and Public Safety Rescue Diver and Supervisor. I am trained in Advanced Highway Criminal Interdiction, Crisis Intervention Team, LIDAR and Field Training Officer. I do not have direct managerial duties within the Sheriff’s Department, but I have a diversified field of knowledge, skills, and expertise. I have a strong network of leaders past and present to give guidance. I feel I have the right pieces of the puzzle to make a solid leader for Madison County. My administration and I will continue to show a working presence in our community. A quote that has impacted me is Leadership without relationship equals rebellion. I will not ask deputies and jail staff to do something I am unwilling to do myself.


5. I absolutely believe I have good morals and integrity, which are both contributing factors as to why I am running for Sheriff. The greatest saying that stuck with me in Leadership Class is the definition of Integrity: “Doing what is right, even when no one else is watching.” I am not running as a politician to make promises, I’m running as a hard-working deputy of the Madison County Sheriff’s Department to make progress within our agency and for our community. When I think of morals, I think of a person’s Character. I believe my career speaks for itself and shows that I’m trustworthy, respectful, responsible, fair, caring, and take pride in my citizenship at serving this community. Each and every day, I display my morals and build my integrity by following this motto “Am I doing the right thing, at the right time, in the right way, and for the right reasons”. By asking myself this, I am able to maintain my morals and express my integrity consistently throughout my life both personally and professionally. I have made Officer of the Year twice in my career, 2004 and 2019. In 2019, I was honored with the Shining Heroes Award. I have been awarded the Medal of Merit for “exceptional professionalism and selfless devotion to duty.” I was acknowledged by the Mayor of Anderson for “Outstanding example of collaboration between our agencies working together to serve the community.” I am a firm believer in deeds not words.


6. One of the greatest challenges I have faced is working as a female in a male dominated field. In the beginning of my career, I was told I'm not needed on calls or was berated by other male officers, yet these officers would accept another male officer for back up. Because of this, I have strived to be a great officer and to go above and beyond to prove myself to be just as good as any male officer. I have not let one person’s ego get in the way of my willingness to pursue. I am a competitor at heart and willing to face any opposition with a positive attitude. Matthew 5:39 NIV sums this up, “But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also." Throughout my career I feel I have proven that I can perform at a high level when there is a time of need.

Another major challenge in my career and for all law enforcement careers is having the ability to make a split-second decision, sometimes the difference between life and death, to do the right thing. One of the unforgettable challenges, I faced in my career was after searching for a missing toddler. I made the decision to jump into a pool filled with mirky black water to locate and recover the missing toddler. Another challenge was when I jumped into swift water to save a drowning man trapped in a vehicle after an automobile crash.


These are just a few challenges I have faced, and there are more to come. I take it upon myself to continue to educate, train, and gain skills through networking with others to have what it takes to overcome any challenge that presents itself. I firmly believe God deals his cards, to give challenge, but will never deal you a card that you're not strong enough to overcome.


7. I learned very early in my career as a deputy that it’s “their” emergency, but it’s our job. The meaning behind that saying is don’t get caught up in the moment, always remain professional and use your training and experience to eliminate “their” emergency. With that said, when dealing with any situation the priorities always remain the same. The most important priority in any situation is the preservation of life, followed by the preservation of property. Whatever needs to be done to minimize the risk to life should always be determined first.


8. I feel God intentionally gave us two ears and two eyes and only one mouth for a reason. I believe you learn more by listening and watching, than you do speaking. Therefore, each and every day, I try to associate myself with positive, knowledgeable people to network with so that I can continue to learn, team build and improve my working knowledge. I work on self-improvement by surrounding myself with positive hardworking individuals that have the same morals, ethics and values that I believe in. I have married my best friend that pushes me to achieve more and strive harder to achieve goals. In addition to that, I am a very active reader, and I am constantly researching and exploring to learn and educate myself, since life is very fluid. I also feel I self-improve by staying involved, being active, both on duty and off duty, and by taking time to myself to reflect, relax, and to stay positive.


9. My favorite thing about this community is its drive to rebuild and progress. In the late 90’s and early 2000’s when General Motors and Delco Remy left this community, it took so much more than just jobs with it. The unemployment rate increased, the housing market crashed, our education system struggled, all of which contributed to increased criminal activity and drug and alcohol abuse in our community. This is the same time frame that I can became a member of the Sheriff’s Dept. Therefore, I have worked through this era, experienced these challenging times firsthand, and have also seen the continued progress this community continues to make to overcome and rebuild. My goal as Sheriff is to lead local law enforcement in this same direction of progression and help combat the continued challenges of drug abuse and mental illness that we are still experiencing today.


10. It’s no surprise that our jail has its share of structural issues, but my first and foremost plan of action is to take care of the immediate needs of staff to ensure their safety and concerns are met first. Our staff is the first line of defense when it comes to the safety of the overall jail. I will make sure our staff is properly trained, educated, equipped, and compensated so they can successfully carry out our mission to properly care and treat offenders while providing a safe and secure environment for all. With the right staff, we can overcome a lot of the structural flaws the jail itself faces. However, I will continue to work with all county officials to obtain funding to make improvements to the jail as needed.

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