Kris Hendricksen (R) – Summit County Sheriff
Kris Hendricksen (Republican)
Summit County Sheriff
Question 1: What are your qualifications to run for county sheriff and why do you want to serve?
As a peace officer for the state of Utah for more than 30 years, my experience covers many skilled areas needed in law enforcement today. I have worked Patrol, Traffic, Criminal Investigations, Narcotics Enforcement and was a Major Crimes Detective, also serving as supervisor in these positions.
I have been a POST instructor for the past 18 years, teaching both within my own agencies and at the Police Academy, instructing new recruits as well as seasoned officers from around the state and country on subjects such as DUI Enforcement, Drug Recognition, Patrol Tactics, Criminal Investigations, Narcotics Enforcement and Firearms.
Knowing the many difficult situations facing law enforcement today, I feel a great responsibility to my community to take the lead of the Summit County Sheriff’s Office and use my years of real experience to lead them through any and all situations that arise, not dictating policy from the office, but by leading from the front as a real leader. I offer my many years of education in both the classroom as well as from the front lines in these situations to take on this very important responsibility as the Sheriff.
Question 2: There is a national debate about whether local law enforcement officers have become too militarized. Where do you stand on that issue and how would it affect how you run the Summit County Sheriff’s Department?
The militarization of local law enforcement concerns me. I do not like it nor do I approve. There are times we have to be prepared for the worst of situations. The Sheriff’s Office should never look threatening, intimidating or act like the military. Local deputies should have the utmost respect for the citizens we serve, caring for everyone as if they were family.
We need to see the face of every deputy in his patrol vehicle, knowing he is our friend, whom we may call upon for any needed service, or so that we can just wave at them as we drive on the roadways of Summit County. There are times we have to use specialized equipment, training and tactics to remove the bad from our society BUT, these are rare situations. Being prepared and recognizing problems before they become major situations is part of our job in law enforcement.
Question 3: Does the Summit County Sheriff’s Department adequately reflect the diversity of the community it serves?
At this time I do not feel that we meet the needs of all our residents within Summit County. Many of the deputies live outside of Summit County and in many ways treat the citizens with an attitude of "Us vs Them" when they deal with our citizens. I want respect with integrity given by each deputy to every person they deal with, even those they may arrest.
We have great diversity within our county and we need to respect that. Whether you are a snowboarder enjoying the Greatest Snow on Earth, or a cowboy moving his herd from one field to another, we as deputies need to understand and respect everyone for who and what they are. If more deputies lived within the county, they would become an integrated part of this community, understanding better how to serve our residents.
Question 4: What is the county’s most prevalent crime problem and how would you work to overcome that?
One of the major problems facing us today is still drug abuse. There are few families who have not been affected by drugs in one way or another. People are getting hooked on pain medication and then are led into destruction with heroin abuse, which ultimately destroys them. Knowing the drug world as I do, we need to pursue the people who are poisoning our society. Removing the element and being proactive to stop the transportation, packaging and selling is one major step. Creating a good narcotics team that works hard and knows the reality of their job is very important. There is a second part, what about the user? He or she may be one of our family members. Education is a key to help them to real recovery. We want our family members back and together we can help them recover.
Question 5: If elected, what specific changes you would like to make in how the sheriff’s department is managed?
The Sheriff’s Office should not be managed, it needs leadership. I will be that leader who will be there supporting the Constitution of the United States, the people of Summit County and the deputies he serves with. As Sheriff I plan on being on the job 40 hours a week or more. This is not a part-time job, like others have used it for. A change of leadership within the department will be made so that the new ideas and policies can take effect. Personnel within the office may be moved around to help facilitate our new programs. The past of running on "Threats and Intimidation" will be transformed into serving with "Respect with Integrity." Law enforcement officers need to have compassion, understanding, service and friendship added to their vocabulary.
Question 6: Please differentiate your platform from your opponent’s.
Wasting taxpayer money buying motorcycles to look cool, this is the current administration of the Sheriff’s Office, this represents my opponent.
My ideas for the future are simple: listen to the community and hear what they want in their Sheriff for Summit County. Taking the lead and be that true leader at all times. I will be accountable with taxpayers’ money. I will use my experience to teach the deputies as well as the community on what and how we should serve.
Since April this year, I have met hundreds of Summit County residents, visiting you at your door. I’ve listened to your questions and you’ve heard my answers with regards to this Office of Sheriff. I’ve used the words Respect, Service and Integrity as I have explained my platform for this position. These are more than just words they are my way of life.
I have respect for this great Country and especially for my home here in Summit County. I look forward to protecting and serving you, my friends and neighbors here in Summit County. This is the difference!
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The Summit County unemployment rate dropped slightly in October, the state Department of Workforce Services reported.