Candidates for Pinal County Sheriff: (from left) Kaye Dickson, Kevin Taylor, Steve Henry and Mark Lamb.
DEMOCRAT
Kaye Dickson
Age: 52
Years in Pinal County: 33
Education: Master’s degree in Public Administration, bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice, Certified Public  Manager, Certified Arizona Police Officer, Federal Bureau of Investigations Certified Hostage Negotiator, International Association Chief of Police leadership in Police Organizations.
Family: Married with two children and three grandchildren.
Professional background: 30 years in law enforcement as commander, sergeant, investigator, deputy, police officer, detention officer, dispatcher and administrator. Specialty assignments included service on the SWAT team as a hostage negotiator and the SCAT-team as a special investigator. Meritorious service award as a commander, Business Person of the year from CAVIT, Investigator and Deputy of the Year.

What makes you the best candidate for the job?
I have the right combination of skill, education and experience for the office of sheriff. I am a visionary, and I have a passion for service to the people of Pinal County, doing so for over 30 years. In addition to my 30-year law enforcement career, I am an investor in Pinal County. I own a successful business and I have directly invested in our youth, serving as a therapeutic foster parent and court-appointed special advocate. My vast experience, knowledge and training involving crimes against animals will ensure these crimes do not go unnoticed. I will not be intimidated by corruption or soil my integrity by looking the other way. I have a proven track record of taking dysfunctional organizations and turning them into positive resources for the community.

What do you consider the biggest law-enforcement challenge in Pinal County and what would be your approach to it?
It goes without saying that in order to serve the community we must have good, qualified employees. Vacancies within the office have reached record numbers within recent years. As we face unprecedented demographic, economic and competitive challenges, developing an effective talent acquisition strategy will be difficult but possible. Recruitment and retention are equally important, stay interviews, promoting from within when possible, employee development, open communication, leadership involvement and mentoring programs are proven to be effective for retention.

How would legalizing recreational marijuana impact PCSO?
The passage of recreational marijuana use will greatly impact law enforcement. Additional on-going training with regard to culture, arrest, exposure, search and seizure, and product testing for illegal additives, will impact cost both direct and indirect. Statistical information proves fatal road crashes involving marijuana double after state legalization, [so] more resources for traffic accidents involving impairment would be necessary.

What will be your approach to PCSO’s use of RICO funds?
The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act of 1970 (RICO ACT) can only be used to support investigations or operations that may result in further seizures, law enforcement training in asset forfeiture, equipment and operations targeting crimes covered under the RICO guideline or drug awareness and education programs. A portion of RICO funds should be set aside to benefit community programs designed to promote drug awareness and education. The process for distribution of funds will be fair and transparent, with an annual application, review and approval process. An annual account of all RICO spending and funding will be placed online for community members to view.

Maricopa and nearby unincorporated neighborhoods sit in a corridor that historically has been popular for drug-running. What can PCSO assurance potential businesses the area is appropriate for economic development?
Pinal county law enforcement agencies working together dedicated to proactively serving the people and business within the community is recognized as a vital part of economic development. Collaboration between law enforcement agencies at every level including city, county, state, tribal and federal is at unprecedented levels. A proactive law enforcement approach can be taken to disrupt and dismantle criminal activity in our scenic deserts. I would welcome and encourage the addition of business to the area, ensuring a working relationship and proactive approach that will thwart criminal activity. Open communications, transparency, and acknowledgment from law enforcement that a prosperous business makes a flourishing community. I will assure business leaders that I have no intention of allowing criminal activity to take over our county or intimidate our community members. I will not release or provide misleading or exaggerated statistical information, and I will be honest and transparent.
DEMOCRAT
Kevin Taylor
Age: 57
Years in Pinal County: 11 years
Education: Law enforcement certification through Ohio State University in 1978-1980. Enhanced education in police training from the Northern Ohio Private Policy Academy and the Ohio Peace Officer Training Council.  Specialized training in police defense tactics from Defense Systems in Ohio.
Family: Four adult children and four grandchildren
Professional Background: 36 years of experience in the law enforcement, starting with Erie County Sheriff’s Department, Sundusky, Ohio, in 1980, and private security fields.  Founded Taylor Made Security in Arizona in 1999.

What makes you the best candidate for the Job?  
My extensive career experience in law enforcement, my concern for my community and its people, my desire to see and work toward our sheriff department becoming the most effective in the country makes me the best candidate for the job.  I also believe in a transparent operation and I am concerned about staff and having an open door policy to hear the concerns of staff without reprisals.

What do you consider the biggest law-enforcement challenge in Pinal County and what will be your approach to it?
I feel the biggest challenge is getting the people of Pinal County to trust the sheriff’s department and having assurance that they can count on the department to respond to complaints promptly, reduce crime, and apprehend criminals. I intend to approach these problems by first assessing the strengths and weaknesses of the department with a department wide assessment program. Secondly I will review the budget to determine if there is any waste or shortages. Third, I will develop a closer working relationship with the Board of Supervisors and share the findings of the assessments with them to investigate the possibility of budget increases if necessary.  Fourth, establish open communication with my staff and with the community.

How would legalizing recreational marijuana impact PCSO?
Legalizing marijuana would have a huge impact on PCSO. The burden of petty possession cases would all but disappear. Much of the low level criminality would change as well. With marijuana legally available we will probably see a reduction in interest in other drugs as well. This will allow us to shift our resources to other crimes. The community will be also likely to improve their relationship with PCSO. Marijuana users won’t have to worry about interacting with law enforcement.

What will be your approach to PCSO’s use of RICO funds?
Currently, the approach PCSO is using to distribute RICO funds is not equitable for all county organizations. RICO funds should never be a slush fund for elected officials and their subordinates. Clearly it is important how the money is spent but checks and balances will be put in place to ensure that the funds are used appropriately and accounted for. As sheriff I will ensure that the community will be the leaders in distributing RICO funds through a fair peer review. All grant submissions and award grant information will be available on line for the community to inspect. I pledge not to use RICO funds for my own gain nor for the personal gain of those within the PCSO department.

Maricopa and nearby unincorporated neighborhoods sit in a corridor that historically has been popular for drug-running. What can PCSO assurance potential businesses the area is appropriate for economic development?
First I would build a stronger relationship with border patrol, local police departments, tribal police and other law enforcement agencies to coordinate and consolidate our drug fighting efforts to make them more effective.  I would also add more focused patrols by using volunteer posse personnel.  These efforts combined with the additional efforts of the PCSO will reduce drug crime in those areas. This in itself would be an incentive to bring businesses to the area.

REPUBLICAN
Steve Henry
Age: 55
Years in Pinal County:  17
Education: B.A. Arizona State University, M.Ed. Northern Arizona University, FBI National Academy, Harvard JFK School of Government
Family: Wife and three children
Professional background: U.S. Army veteran, enlisted member and officer, 23 years of continuous law enforcement service

Why are you running?
The Pinal County Sheriff’s Office needs a strong, successful and experienced leader to continue the great work already accomplished over the last eight years. As chief deputy, I have overseen and managed the day-to-day operations over these last eight years. The Pinal County Sheriff’s Office is well respected and highly professional. Going forward, the fruit of all that labor will depend on the continuity of leadership and experience that I have brought to the table during my tenure as the chief deputy. Our citizens do not deserve, nor can they afford, a new sheriff who is ill-equipped with little to no law enforcement leadership experience or, for that matter, devoid of a solid record of accomplishment pertaining to consensus building and intergovernmental relationships fostered and grown over a two decade plus law enforcement career. I currently bring all of those skills and accomplishments to the table and more.

What makes you the best candidate for the job?
I am a highly-decorated, well-educated 24-year law enforcement professional leader that has been the operations leader in our Sheriff’s Office for the last eight years. In this position I am responsible for the overall mission effectiveness for the Sheriff’s Office and implementing the vision as it concerns the sheriff’s vision and mission priorities. This included office reorganization in the jail, patrol, criminal investigations, property and evidence, communications, SWAT and community services. The end result is the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office that serves you today – a highly successful, professional and well-respected law enforcement agency. Previous to that I served in a command position in a well-respected accredited police department for 16 years. My experience includes patrol, training, field training, gang enforcement, recruiting, narcotics enforcement, SWAT, Internal Affairs, sergeant supervising victim services, neighborhood services, SWAT, patrol, K9’s, Bicycle Squad, patrol and lieutenant serving as district commander, watch commander, lieutenant over field training, patrol, K9s and Traffic Unit commander.

What do you consider the biggest law-enforcement challenge in Pinal County and what will be your approach to it?
There are two equal challenges in Pinal County. The first is to deliver prompt, professional and competent law enforcement services in a county that has a population that continues to grow every year. This has been [done] successfully over the last eight years despite an ever-shrinking operations budget and the loss of key employees to law enforcement agencies that pay far more than PCSO. The second challenge is directly tied into the first and that is the ability to continue locating, interdicting and arresting drug cartel members and other national security concerns in our county before they prey upon our citizens through the associated follow on crimes such as kidnapping, threats and intimidation, murder, rape, high speed pursuits, smuggling and sex trafficking. I will continue to prioritize these efforts utilizing the success I have already demonstrated by relying on my 24 years of experience in law enforcement.

How would legalizing recreational marijuana impact PCSO?
If recreational marijuana is legalized in Arizona this issue will impact PCSO in many ways. The most profound will be the increased incidents of impaired driving and the time and cost associated with investigating those crimes. Alcohol impairment is far easier and less time consuming to investigate compared to drug impairment. Drug investigations require a drug-recognition expert and a blood test to complete [and] will be very time consuming and expensive. The other concerns are the manufacture of associated forms of marijuana produced in homes, hotels and other private/public areas and often result in fires and explosions that endanger the unsuspecting public at large. Other crimes associated with drug use and abuse will also spike and they include child neglect, child abuse, overdose, vehicular and machinery accidents and a host of others. This will only add responsibility to an already overburdened system.

What will be your approach to PCSO’s use of RICO funds?
I will assess and prioritize RICO funding requests as they relate to the public safety mission in our ongoing effort to provide law enforcement services to our ever-growing county.

Maricopa and nearby unincorporated neighborhoods sit in a corridor that historically has been popular for drug-running. What can PCSO assurance potential businesses the area is appropriate for economic development?
This has long been an issue in the Maricopa area and that is exactly why it is a mission priority for the PCSO. We successfully locate, interdict and arrest smuggling entities in the Maricopa area every day. I will continue this mission platform under my administration. The enforcement priorities for the PCSO are first and foremost the health and safety of our citizens. My desire is to create an environment where the people of our county can live, work and recreate in relative safety and security. I will not deviate from the very plan I created six years ago in concert with the AZDPS, Border Patrol and ICE to vigorously pursue and arrest cartel smugglers in our county (Western Desert Task Force and the Ajo Initiative). These continued priority enforcement efforts will help ensure future businesses that the Maricopa area is safe and appropriate for future growth and development.

REPUBLICAN
Mark Lamb
Age: 43
Years in Pinal County: 8
Education: College, FBI Crime Scene Training, SWAT Team
Family: Married with five children (19, 18, 16, 14, 13)
Professional background: Business owner, law enforcement for Salt River Pima Maricopa Indian Community (Rookie of the Year, Officer of the Year, Detective of the Year, Award of Excellence) and Pinal County Sheriff’s Office

Why are you running?
Our country needs people in elected positions whose goal it is to serve its citizens, with pure motives and high ideals. I can use my talents in business and law enforcement to honorably serve my country and defend the Constitution in the position of sheriff.

What makes you the best candidate for the job?
Our country needs people in elected positions whose goal it is to serve its citizens, with pure motives and high ideals. I can use my talents in business and law enforcement to honorably serve my country and defend the Constitution in the position of sheriff.

What do you consider the biggest law-enforcement challenge in Pinal County and what will be your approach to it?
The biggest law-enforcement challenge is eliminating the drug cartels and human trafficking in our county. I will take an aggressive approach, utilizing the fine men, women and specialty units while fostering good relationships with outside agencies to get the job done. We need to be unpredictable for the cartels without broadcasting our tactics for political gain.

How would legalizing recreational marijuana impact PCSO?
Our job at PCSO is to uphold and enforce the law. We will have the deputies follow what the legislators and voters decide.

What will be your approach to PCSO’s use of RICO funds?
I would ensure RICO funds were being used in accordance to state statutes, and I would ensure transparency to the people of Pinal County.

Maricopa and nearby unincorporated neighborhoods sit in a corridor that historically has been popular for drug-running. What can PCSO assurance potential businesses the area is appropriate for economic development?
First, I would crush the crime. That’s exactly what I did in law enforcement. Secondly, I come from a business background, so I understand making it a business friendly area. I would work with Maricopa to ensure that we stop crime. I would foster a safe living environment that attracts people to move into the area.


This story appeared in the July issue of InMaricopa.

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2 COMMENTS

  1. Oh, I see. If you vote and then clear your history/cache….. you can vote again, and again, and again etc…

    How about the site go in and delete all repeat votes from the same MAC addresses and see how this plays out? Can probably see total and frequency of votes from each location. That could be fun!!!

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