Rick Reigenborn (D)
City of residence
I have lived in Adams County since I was four months old, my friends and family live in Adams County. I have dedicated my adult life to law-enforcement and protecting the community. I strive for a safe environment where we can raise our children and grandchildren without fear.
What makes you the best candidate for this seat?
I have been Sheriff for the last three years, we have been engaged with the community and making great strides to reduce crime in Adams County.
It is important to continue to reduce response times when citizens call. We have made significant reductions in our response times and need to work on further reductions.
I was able to work with the County Commissioners to receive funding to complete a regional DNA lab for all agencies within Adams County to access.
Our leadership team has continued to make advancements in the agency and our staff works diligently to have open communications.
The number of crimes reported in Adams County has increased steadily and is projected to be 43% higher this year than in 2019, according to the Adams County budget. What can the sheriff do to reduce crime?
We have increased staffing this year by 33 employees, 17 of those were dedicated to the patrol division. We have started stratified policing. We pull crime information every 12 hours to target areas that are experiencing increases in crime, we then add additional patrols and target extra patrol routes. We are doing community meetings to talk with the citizens and ask for their input for reducing crime, see something, say something.
Could Crisis Response teams, sending non-Police to certain emergency calls, work in Adams County, and why or why not?
We have started a co-responder program where those crisis calls are handled by trained medical staff when a person in crisis needs medical/mental health intervention and not law enforcement assistance.
It has been effective for mental health and homelessness issues and we hope to see our program expand.
As sheriff, you have to work with other agencies. Do you think Adams County has established good working relationships with other departments and agencies or is there room for improvement?
I think there is always room for improvement, I currently meet with the Chiefs of all the agencies in Adams County monthly to discuss current issues we each are facing.
We have seen great success with these meetings, partnerships that have grown and there is sharing of resources.
Last year all the agencies pooled resources to address the street racing issues we all battled independently, working united has worked well for each agency.
What can the sheriff do to help with the opioid crisis?
We need to provide resource information to those who are struggling with opioid addiction. If the person enters the jail, we can get them started in the Medication Assisted Treatment program so when they leave jail they can re-enter society with a plan towards rehabilitation.
If the person is in society, our co-responder program can help them find the resources needed to help with their addiction, getting them into treatment.
Adams County operates its own academy, Flatrock Regional Training Center. What is the most important thing to teach new police cadets?
It is important to teach new recruits the importance of the new laws that mandate reporting of crimes, some of which is, if they see improper actions by their co-workers, they must report the action.
We also need to ensure that the State required training hours met for the mandatory training as well, for all employees.
What is the biggest issue facing the sheriff's department?
Staffing as population continues to grow in Adams County, it affects our patrol and jail staff. We need to increase our civilian staff as well as the amount of deputies.
How would you deal with that issue?
We are strengthening our hiring recruitment and our retention efforts.
It is difficult as other agencies are doing large sign-on bonuses and paying a considerable amount more we need to be more creative to draw that talent to the Sheriffs Office.
We have bi-weekly meetings to discuss hiring strategies and retention ideas. Our citizens advisory board has been extremely helpful in this area with innovative ideas.
What is another issue that you would make a priority if elected?
We need to take a serious look and updating our jail or building a new one closer to the courthouse. As our current jail is dated and in need of costly repairs, we must take a close look at the financial cost of repairing or replacing it.
We also need to look at expanding the Flatrock training center as the additional training requirements are changing through legislation, we need to ensure we are prepared to meet the requirements and needs of our staff and community.
What should the sheriff do regarding homeless and encampments reported in Adams County?
The Sheriffs Office is assisting the Adams County Park Rangers in finding resources for those experiencing homelessness, finding them safe environments to live and not cause stresses upon the community in which they are currently encamping.
It is our hope that our co-responder program will integrate with the homeless community as well, so they can receive the mental health/addiction treatment they could potentially need.
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