of the Sheriff's Police.
"My educational background.
has brought out that she
has served in all areas of the Sheriff's Department
That's not a necessary requirement for being an administrator.
I have developed a track record."
And Lain flatly rejects Resteau's charge that he
familiarity with the nuts and bolts of county law enforcement.
After eight years as Chief Deputy, Lain says, he's
grown intimately familiar with all aspects of the Sheriff's Department
, Lain says, has criticized Reynolds for cutting the numbers of the Sheriff's Department Reserve Program, from around 60 to 22.
Candidate: Susan H. Resteau.
Susan Resteau is basing her run for Porter County Sheriff not only on her most visible or prestigious postings during her nearly 23 years of service with the Porter County Sheriffs' Police: first as Patrol Officer, then as Corporal, later as Sergeant, with some 12 years-and the "highest clearance rate" over those years, she says-in the Detective Bureau.
Resteau is also basing it on her other postings elsewhere in the PCSP, to which outgoing Sheriff Dave Reynolds assigned her after her unsuccessful attempt to unseat him in 2002: main control at the Porter County Jail, the Warrants Division, and most recently prisoner transport.
"Some people look at the moves as 'Poor Susie
,' but you know what, Susie
has really seen a lot of things."
Indeed, Resteau says that her "longevity with this department" makes her more qualified for the Office of Sheriff than her opponent, David Lain, who before his appointment to Porter County Chief Deputy in 1999 served as Shift Commander with the Valparaiso Police Department.
also counts as an additional qualification her
nine years, beginning in 1974, with the Food Stamp Division of Porter County Child Protective Services, "where I got my expertise working with budgets . . , carried a food stamp case load of 300 plus . ., and oversaw a federal program that ranged anywhere from $250,000 to $500,000 in food stamps on a monthly basis."
"When my opponent says that he
has 'all of this experience,'" Resteau
adds, "I can't imagine him having the experience that I have had . . . . He
has no skills as a detective.
entire police career has been one of patrol.
Mine is more well-versed, more well-rounded."
For Resteau the single greatest problem facing law enforcement in Porter County is drugs, and she vows, if elected Sheriff, to increase the Sheriff Department's current detachment to the Prosecuting Attorney's Drug Task Force from one officer to two.
"People that are working narcotics over in Illinois just kind of shake their head in amusement at what we're doing here in Porter County
with the problem that we've got."
continue Reynolds' policy of detaching another officer as well to the Drug Enforcement Agency?
, for 10 years a board member of the Porter County Mental Health Association
(PCMHA), believes education to be just as important, and wants to see organizations like the PCMHA, Porter-Starke Services, and the Community Action Drug Coalition
combine their resources, "get everyone on the same page," and create an age-appropriate anti-drug program which tracks students from kindergarten through 12th grade.
And compounding the overcrowding, Resteau
says, is Reynold's policy of accepting state and federal inmates-around 120 of them on Sept. 15-for a daily fee of $35 to $40 per head.
Some of those moneys were used to fund a pay raise, and while she
does not begrudge Reynolds' effort on behalf of his
does wonder what would happen if the feds and the state were to decide to yank their prisoners from the jail, as some of them temporarily were after a successful escape by two inmates in 2005.
chief plan for the jail is the establishment of a work release program on the model of Tippecanoe County's, under which "lesser offenders"-say 60 to begin with-would work outside the jail by day and sleep there by night.
"About 30 percent of an individual's paycheck comes back to us, plus they are responsible for washing their own clothes. . . . They have to pay for the phone, they have to pay for the commissary.
Now this is all money that is now generated back.
says that initial funding for the program could come from the balance of the $1 million up-front payment which the feds made when the jail began accepting prisoners from the U.S.
Marshals Service, and that once the program is up and running it would become eligible for federal grants.
"Tippecanoe County receives $2 million every other year for their work release.
They're self-sufficient. . . . If they can do it, why can't we?"
opponent says that crime in Porter County
is down, Resteau
"You can work statistics any way you want . . . and we are up when it comes to theft, breaking into cars, the graffiti, the vandalism, the mail boxes, the things that get underneath your skin."
first line of attack would be to beef up the Sheriff's Department Reserve Program-whose numbers were cut drastically by Reynolds during a shake-up of the program-to increase the number and density of patrols.
second line of attack would be the organization-with "a little creative movement" to make personnel available-of a "special ops group," sort of a flying squad, which could be detached from its primary responsibility of serving warrants and tasked to surveillance and stake-out operations in areas hit hard by rashes of property crime.
"I would really like to go with a full four guys . . . and let them do their warrants and if I got something going on in Aberdeen or in Shorewood I can bring them out there. . . . Anything where people's property has been subjected to vandalism or theft sprees. . . . That's what they do in the big cities.
That's what we should be doing here."
declined to identify whom she
might appoint to be her
Chief Deputy, except to say that it would not be her
"When people run for political office," Resteau
says, "the Office of Sheriff, Prosecutor, some of the key offices, you can pretty much gauge by a person's inner self if they're doing this just to do this or doing this because they truly want to make a difference. . . . I see so many people so upset and concerned about the direction of this department, where it's going to, and I just want to make things better."