The Washington Times-Herald

Local News

April 26, 2014

Experience versus change at center of sheriff's race

The race for sheriff in Daviess County in the May Republican primary comes down to an incumbent citing his experience against a challenger looking for change.

Incumbent Daviess County Sheriff Jerry Harbstreit is leaning on his experience and hoping that will be a deciding factor in the upcoming May Primary. Harbstreit has been in law enforcement for 30 years and 12 of those have been as sheriff. "When you do the job for awhile you begin to understand how it works," said Harbstreit. "The sheriff's office is not a place for on-the-job-training."

When Republican sheriff candidate Jerry Maddox started looking at the budget for the sheriff's department that's when he decided to run for the office. "I started looking around at the sheriff's department and saw some wasteful spending," said Maddox. "I was always told that if I didn't like the way the office is run then get elected and run it yourself, and that's when I decided to run."

Harbstreit says he decided to seek re-election because he wants to do more. "We've made a lot of progress," he said. "I want to do more, bring in more and better programs into our county. I want to work more closely with the community and expand the training for our deputies and jail staff. I also want to see our inmates get more training."

He points to one particular program at the jail, the RARE Program, as one that is making a difference. "Our jail is the only one in the state that has that program certified by the state," he said. "Prisoners who complete it can have their jail time reduced. No one in the state of Indiana has stepped up to that level."

Maddox's background includes work in the retail industry as a manager before joining the sheriff's office as a part-time animal control officer, working in the dispatch area, and finally working in the jail for a dozen years. "I know about supervising people and budgets from my time in private business," he said. "I think overall the operation of the sheriff's department is a lot different that it used to be. The sheriff is no longer a guy sitting in a room with a walkie-talkie getting ready to run out into the county. The sheriff is more of a manager to the deputies and jail. I have those capabilities."

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