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Letter - Bryan Ellenbecker - candidate for Tama County Sheriff

September 14, 2012
Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

Dear Editor,

I recently was involved with a debate at the "Meet the Candidate Night", which was put on by Farm Bureau and held at the Tama Civic Center on Monday, August 27 . I am a candidate for Tama County Sheriff. After the debate, I was asked by a few people as to what I stood for and other questions. They felt strongly about what I said during the debate and felt that I needed to get my name and issues out to the public. So I thought I would inform the people about who I am and what I stand for.

My name is Bryan Ellenbecker I am currently employed by the Tama County Sheriff s Office. I also do death investigation for the Medical Examiner's Office as a Medical Examiner Investigator, working under the direction of Dr. Mallory. I have been in law enforcement for 24 years. I started my career as a reserve officer with the Tama Police Department and worked my way up to being Chief of Police for the City of Tama. I was also a Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) Officer.

I'm a 1988 graduate of South Tama High School. As a senior, I received the American Citizenship Award. This award is given by the Iowa State Bar Association. I received my Bachelor of Arts Degree from Buena Vista College in Human Services and minored in Education and Training.

In 1993 1 married my wife Jeri. We have three teenagers who are very active at South Tama High School.

In 2002 1 received the Law Enforcement Award, which is given out by the US Attorneys' Office. This award was for a Federal Methamphetamine case that I worked. This case led to many arrests and convictions.

If elected as your Sheriff, I will provide 24 hour coverage, 7 days a week. This means that a deputy will be working at all times. I will be efficient with the schedule and spread deputies throughout the day and night to make sure that there are deputies that are working 24 hours a day.

Sheriff Kucera and I disagree on the definition of 24 hour coverage. If a deputy gets called out of bed, by the time he gets awakened, dressed, duty belt on, and responds to the call, he is looking at 20 to 30 minutes before he arrives at the call. This time will vary depending on where the call originates. On call is not 24 hour coverage. 24 hour coverage is a deputy in a patrol car that can respond and is available for calls.

If elected as your Sheriff, I will provide animal control. This was another question that we debated. It is the Sheriff's Office responsibility to provide this service to the county. As of now, we have no where to go with animals that are dropped off at people's houses and farms. Sheriff Kucera stated that this issue was up to the board of supervisors. It is, however, up to the Sheriff to budget for animal control and for the board to approve the budget. The board approves the budget; they do not make the budget.

Animal control is a safety issue for people and other animals. A dog can be aggressive. It can bite a young child or even an adult. Not only is dumping a dog unsafe for humans and livestock, but inhumane for the dog. By not having animal control, we aren't looking out for the safety and protection of the people that live or visit our county; and we are not looking out for what is best for the animal.

If elected as your Sheriff, I will provide school patrols before and after school. Safety of our children is very important. Visibility of a deputy could stop an abduction and/or a sex offender from going to the school area.

If elected as your Sheriff, I will be active with kids from preschool through high school. I think it is very important to be active with kids so that they can see the human side of law enforcement. Playing Dodge ball with high school kids, bowling with middle school kids, and reading or eating lunch with elementary school kids are positive activities that they will always remember.

If elected as your Sheriff, I will work with other law enforcement county wide to assemble a High Risk Team (SWAT). There are times that search warrants are done that are high risk or an armed subject is barricaded in a house. These are times that a High Risk Team would be needed and used. This is for the safety of the officers involved and for the safety of the community. This team would allow us to be more prepared for an active shooter call or any high-risk emergency that may arise.

Sheriff Kucera stated at the debate that I was the only deputy that felt there was a problem. There are changes that I think need to be made, and I will stand up for what I feel is right. The issues that I will change if elected as your Sheriff are important to me. I feel that they are important to the people that live in Tama County.

Spending your tax dollars efficiently will make the department stronger and provide important services to the citizens of Tama County. My opponent states that he will be conservative with taxpayer's money, as will I; however, not only will I spend the tax payers' money conservatively, I will us it efficiently in order to add the services that I feel will better serve the people of Tama County. Being efficient with the budget will provide effective law enforcement. I would sincerely appreciate your vote this November.

Bryan Ellenbecker


Candidate for Tama County Sheriff



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