Primary election: Madison County Sheriff


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The primary election is Tuesday, May 6. The following are responses to questionnaires created by the Times-Post and returned by candidate for Madison County Sheriff.

Brian K. Bell (D)

Why did you decide to run for (re)election?

I’ve served as the major, or second in command, for the last seven years. We’ve started and completed many projects in the last seven and half years. I would love to have the opportunity to complete newly started projects and serve the citizens as their sheriff.

What qualities do you think you have for the position?

I believe being the only candidate that is currently working for the sheriff’s department has allowed me to be active in the community so that we can be proactive to the citizens concerns. I will continue to work with all public safety agencies in the county to best serve the citizens of Madison County.

Do you have any specific plans for public office?

The following issues are problems I intend to work on as your sheriff; jail overcrowding, increased drug enforcement with emphasis on methamphetamine and heroin, crimes against seniors, consolidated dispatch, and increased training for jail and patrol officers on mental health issues.

What experience do you bring to the table?

I’ve held the rank of jail officer, merit officer, patrolman, sergeant, lieutenant, captain, SWAT team leader and been the major for the last seven years. I have an associate degree in criminal justice and graduated from the FBI Academy in 2003.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

I would like the voters to remember, I have been consistently serving the citizens of Madison County for the last 25 years. I have been dedicated to serving Madison County to ensure that it is a better place to live, work, and raise a family for all citizens.

Scott Mellinger (D)

Why did you decide to run for (re)election?

I decided to run for this position because while I believe our sheriff’s department does a good job, I believe we can being doing a great job. Utilizing my experience as Madison County Sheriff from 1991-1998, plus the experience and knowledge I have gained in helping to lead state and local law enforcement agencies since that time, we will be better than ever.

What qualities do you think you have for the position?

Experience, law enforcement accountability, creativity and vision. These are qualities I have been blessed to attain over the last 33 years of my career and they are important when considering how budgetary constraints affect law enforcement capabilities.

Do you have any specific plans for public office?

My plans include to first learn and analyze the personnel as well as current policies and operations. I will grow the reserve deputy program significantly during the first year, improve the training program for jail and enforcement personnel, open communications with all personnel, the media and the public, and meet with all emergency service leaders immediately to build an effective network.

What experience do you bring to the table?

I have 33 years of law enforcement experience including eight years as Madison County Sheriff, four years as executive director of the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy, and five and a half years as director of training for the largest sheriff’s department in Indiana, Marion County. I also taught criminal justice for several semesters at Anderson University and IUPUI.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

I have lived in Madison County for 55 years and I love our life here. There are times when improving quality of life is just as important for law enforcement as writing tickets. I will encourage deputies to spend time getting to know people in their districts. I humbly ask for voters’ support on May 6.

 

Democratic Candidate Jeff Hardin did not respond to the candidate questionnaire by press time.

 

Tony Boze (R)

Why did you decide to run for (re)election?

I was born and raised here in Madison County and I graduated from Madison Heights High School and Anderson University respectively. I fondly tell people that Madison County is God’s Country. Madison County is my home and I want to use the blessings and experience I have received during my over 26-plus years in law enforcement to enhance the quality of life for all citizens.

What qualities do you think you have for the position?

My qualities for the office of Sheriff are that I am honest, trustworthy and I am a good communicator. I am confident in what I do, but I am willing to accept criticism so that I can grow as a leader. I will always strive to be a Sheriff that kids can look up to.

Do you have any specific plans for public office?

I have four goals to accomplish:

To bring a neighborly feel to the office of sheriff.

I want to establish an “Office of Professional Responsibility” so that the sheriff’s department preserves the agencies credibility and the public trust.

Establish a week long Teen Leadership Academy.

Begin discussion with county leaders about approaching other counties to join Madison County in planning a Regional Jail Facility due to the recent DOC mandate that they will no longer accept “D” felony and below sentenced offenders.

What experience do you bring to the table?

I have held all the ranks within a department with the exception of chief of police. I have been to several leadership schools that include the FBI National Academy, Northwestern University School of Police Staff and Command, and the USMC Police Leadership and Command Course. I have led men and women in groups as small as 12 to as many as 500 while at the USMC. I have deployed overseas to help in the war on terror by interviewing enemy combatants at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

I am a committed public servant as evidenced by my level of volunteer activities in Hamilton and Madison County.

I have been continuously employed in the law enforcement field since I began my career in 1988. I have been a registered Republican since 1983, and I have worked at the polls or at election events since 1979.

 

Bruce Dunham (R)

Why did you decide to run for (re)election?

I retired from the sheriff’s department several years ago. I have been in business as part of the management team for a successful, local manufacturer. I have felt a calling to go back to the department to serve my community. I feel that with the police experience, business background and military leadership, I can lead the department to successful programs for our county.

What qualities do you think you have for the position?

I served my country in the U.S. Army (N.G) for 26 years. I have served my county on the sheriff’s department for 23 years, and now I am in business. I have held leadership positions for successful programs in all three of my careers. I can do the same with the department today.

Do you have any specific plans for public office?

1. Increase the fight against abusing prescription and illegal drugs in our county. 2. Train officers, manage the budget and oversee the jail population. Clean and maintain the jail to state standards. 3. Develop a strong reserve officer program to be a force multiplier for the department. 4. Have directed patrol officers to high incident locations to cut down on problems. 5. Maintain good relationships with other departments in the county for better response times.

What experience do you bring to the table?

I have been a leader in business, on the Sheriff’s Department and in the U.S. Army. I want to return to the department to lead from the front, to develop good public policy and to make customer service a priority again.

Is there anything else you would like to add? Being a servant leader is a challenge that I am up for. The Madison County Sheriff’s Department is a great Department. With strong, proven leadership it will continue to be great for all of us. I want to take my business experience, my police training and my military leadership back to the department to serve as our Sheriff. Thank you.

 

Sam Hanna (R)

Why did you decide to run for election?

I chose to run for Madison County Sheriff because I feel my experience, education and skills as sheriff would help to create a safer community. Through my years with the sheriff’s department and a life-long resident of Madison County, I have come to know many people throughout its 450 square miles and care deeply about helping shape a better future for its citizens.

What qualities do you think you have for the position?

Integrity is most important. The community has to have faith in its sheriff’s department and that they are an honest and transparent community service. This allows for the department to better achieve its goals of working with citizens to create a safer environment to live. Secondly, I have the courage to make the tough decisions and the knowledge and experience to make the right decisions for the sheriff’s department.

What experience do you bring to the table?

1974 Graduate of Anderson College with a bachelor’s degree in the administration of criminal justice. I am a 37-year veteran of the sheriff’s department serving as investigator, patrol officer and jail officer. In addition to serving a year with the Pendleton Police Department and the Madison County Prosecutor’s Office, I have also served as the chief of police for the City of Elwood for two years. This combination of experience will help the sheriff’s department work seamlessly with other police departments across the county.

Anything else you would like to add?

I would like to see the Madison County Sheriff’s Department provide a more proactive service to the citizens of the county. My experience with the sheriff’s department as well as other police departments across the county will help in creating a safer community with a sheriff’s department that has no higher priority than protecting and serving its citizens.

 

 

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