Editor, Times-Union:

Sheriff Kyle Dukes has spent the last three years focusing on the Sheriff’s Office and the community. These programs have been successful, but for real organizational change to achieve full buy-in, it generally takes eight years, which is convenient to the term limits of sheriffs.

There has been a strong push for servant leadership development; several supervisors are currently participating in the FBI-LEEDA trilogy training that exposes them to all forms of leadership and the path forward in their careers. When the torch is passed, these deputies will be more prepared than their predecessors to assume leadership roles within the office.

The expansion of the mental health programs for all employees and inmates has been an enormous benefit. The dedication to continuous improvement for the JCAP program, which has drawn national attention, continues to be a model program. The Sheriff’s Office is training deputies to work with the Countywide Critical Incident Stress Management Team (CISM); this program has one deputy trained but more that needs more trained. Electing Sheriff Dukes will guarantee these mission components will be achieved with a second term.

Sheriff Dukes dedicated his staff to seeking grants to purchase necessary gear and equipment. So far, grants for body armor, body-worn cameras for deputies, specialty cameras for the Special Operation Group and a grant for the new radios needed for the new Phase 2 system helped offset the ARPA money that will go to other vital needs for the county. We have also gotten several equipment grants providing new speed RADARS, portable breath tests, and drug test equipment.

Sheriff Dukes benefited (sarcasm intended) from being sheriff during COVID-19 and had to rewrite the book on operations while we steered through the issues and challenges brought by the pandemic. His administration and deputies navigated through the difficulties and carried on the mission of the Sheriff’s Office. We worked hard to create task groups that met regularly to update and change our protocols to maintain safe and efficient functions.

The Kosciusko County Community would benefit from a second term for Sheriff Kyle Dukes. Allowing the Sheriff’s Office’s current and new programs to achieve full buy-in and make an easier transition for a new sheriff in four years.  

Travis C. Marsh

North Webster, via email