September 17, 2016: Here are Mike Renck's responses to the League of Women Voters questionnaire for their Voters Guide.
Question: Please explain your plan for deportation of undocumented persons?
Answer: Deportation of undocumented persons is the responsibility of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), not the sheriff. The job of identifying, apprehending, detaining and deporting undocumented persons lies with ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations. If sheriff’s deputies arrest an undocumented person, ICE will be notified. After serving his or her sentence, that person will be released into the custody of ICE.
Question: What are your proposals for tackling challenges such as enhancing collaboration among the Sheriff’s Office, the City Council, the County Commissioners, and the community?
Answer: I have created 30- and 90-day action plans. These include plans to establish a good working relationship with elected officials and community leaders by meeting with them in the first month to identify issues and concerns. I will meet with them regularly after that. I will hold a town hall meeting within 90 days to listen to the concerns of the public. I will provide opportunity for the public to interact with the sheriff's office through such things as citizen posse, citizen safety classes, and an advisory council made up of people with diverse backgrounds to discuss problems and solutions.
Question: Please explain how you think the Sheriff’s Office can contribute to improving race relations?
Answer: My campaign motto is “Justice for All.” All personnel will keep that motto at top of mind at all times as part of their job performance. Training will be crucial. Sensitivity and interpersonal communications training will help prevent potentially volatile situations from escalating. Staff will be trained how to de-escalate threatening situations without resorting to force. When force is necessary, the least aggressive method will be used. I will have a workforce that reflects the diversity of the county population. My advisory council also will include members of the minority communities.
Question: Many mentally ill persons are in jail instead of treatment. How do you propose to remedy this situation?
Answer: Every officer, patrol and corrections, will receive training on how to recognize and deal with persons who are, or appear to be, mentally ill. We will work closely with area mental health providers to make every effort to get these persons the help they need instead of putting them in jail, when the situation warrants it. I will include a local mental health professional on my volunteer citizens advisory council.
Question: What issues within your county need the most attention? What solutions will you pursue?
Answer: Population growth will require efficient management to ensure public safety and security. Deputies will spend more time on the rural roads and in neighborhoods. Active, visible officers deter crime. To keep patrol deputies in the field, corrections officers will take custody of prisoners at the arrest site and transport them to jail. Child-abuse cases are growing with the population. Detectives will receive training to speed cases to trial. We will sponsor classes to help residents reduce the chances of becoming victims, including firearms safety, home security, and self-defense for women.