This is the second part of my story detailing my experience and why I'm the right choice for Stearns County Sheriff. Upon being hired at the Stearns County Sheriff Office I went through field training with an experienced officer before being “set free” on my own. This training period was accelerated as I came to the agency already knowing a lot from my 5 years at Benton County. I worked in the patrol division for 3 years and then in a statewide Gang Strike Force for about 3 years before going back to patrol. I worked in patrol for several years during my career and then did several other things within the Sheriff Office to include being promoted to detective and sergeant.
When I started in patrol in both Benton and Stearns County, law enforcement was definitely different than it is today. Back then, terrorism was not even something we thought about nor trained for. We did not worry about school shootings or large scale acts of violence that we see today. We certainly did not have the amount of behavioral issues regarding mental illness as we have today and although drugs were around even “back then” they were nowhere near where we are today as far as being deadly.
During my time with patrol, I also joined the Stearns/Benton County SWAT team as a team member. I joined a bike patrol group that we had at the time as I felt it would be a better way to connect with the community and to talk with citizens, being out of a squad car. That group is no longer in the Sheriff Office. I also joined the Sheriff Office explorer group as an advisor as I had once been an explorer and feel it is important to give back to the kids and the program that helped me to decide to go into law enforcement.
As your Sheriff the above issues are of concern to me. I believe my experience makes me the most qualified candidate to address public safety issues in Stearns County. I will address these issues in later posts when I start talking about my plans for the Sheriff Office along with other issues we encounter in public safety and what direction I would like to take the Sheriff Office in. Until part 3, be safe all and please keep telling everyone you know to follow my Facebook and check out my website to continue getting updates from my campaign! #SoykaForSheriff