Q&A: Boone County Sheriff’s candidates explain why they should get your vote

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Boone County Sheriff Mike Nielsen is facing a challenge in the May 8 Republican primary from Mike Greene, a Monroe County sheriff’s deputy who is seeking his first elected office.

The two candidates answered the following questions:

Greene

Name: Michael Greene

Age: 43

City of residence: Jamestown

Occupation: Monroe County deputy sheriff

How many years have you lived in Boone County?

For approximately 33 years.

How did you and your family end up in Boone County?

I was born at Witham Hospital in Boone County. My family has been a part of Boone County since the late 1800s.

Why do you want to run for elected office?

I have wanted to run for sheriff of Boone County for years now. I believe that Boone County deserves a change. We cannot keep going down the path we are headed. My father had wanted to run for sheriff as well before he died. I didn’t want to regret not running and going after my dream. In a way, I am running for him, me and a change for Boone County.

What are your top priorities if elected?

Combating the drug and crime problems in Boone County along with trimming the budget within the sheriff’s office.

What are the biggest issues facing Boone County residents that your office can impact?

As the Sheriff of Boone County, we will be the starting point at stopping the drug epidemic and every growing crime that goes with it.

What are your qualifications to run for this office?

I graduated from the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy. I am a sheriff’s deputy in the state of Indiana. I have the fresh, new drive to bring change to Boone County.

What is your favorite thing about Boone County?

My favorite thing is the friendliness of the good citizens of Boone County. Everyone is always friendly, waving and willing to help out.

What changes do you hope to bring about if elected?

I will work tirelessly to help make Boone County a safe county again, the safe county that many of us grew to love, the county we love to call home.

Favorite local restaurant: Stookey’s in Thorntown

Favorite movie: “Walking Tall”

Favorite quote or motto: Treat others how you would want to be treated. – my father Michael E. Greene

Family: I am married to an amazing woman, Annie Greene, and we have a total of five children, ranging from adults to a preschooler.

Pets: We have had many fish and a few dogs.

Favorite vacation: Anywhere as long as it’s with family.

Something you’d like readers to know about you: I am new to the political scene, bringing fresh ideas to the position of sheriff. I believe in integrity and hard work.

Something most people don’t know about you: I am an open book, nothing I can think of.

Mike Nielsen

Mike Nielsen

Name: Michael T. (Mike) Nielsen

Age: 55

City of residence: Rural Lebanon – Marion Township

Occupation: Sheriff of Boone County

How many years have you lived in Boone County?

Since 1983 – 35 Years

How did you and your family end up in Boone County?

I was transferred here from Iowa when I managed an engineering firm.

Why do you want to run for elected office?

I have been your sheriff of Boone County since June 2014. We have created a five-year strategic business plan, and we are currently in year two of the plan. I would like the opportunity to continue our business plan and continue to improve on the services that we provide the citizens of Boone County.

What is your previous political experience?

Serving as your elected sheriff since June of 2014. Prior to this I had never ran for political office.

What are your top priorities if elected?

To continue the implementation of our five-year strategic business plan. The plan is available to anyone for review. We need to continue to focus on the opioid and drug problem that we currently have in our county. This creates other crimes that support this type of behavior. We will continue to rehabilitate the inmates in our jail through numerous programs, work on strengthening the enforcement services, continue the professional services in our 911 communications center and provide the best professional services that we have provided in the past. We have to continue our goal of becoming a more data-driven agency and continue our vison of becoming a proactive, intelligence-led policing model.

What are the biggest issues facing Boone County residents that your office can impact?

The drug issue that is approaching epidemic levels. This disease is taking too many lives each year. In 2017, drugs deaths took the lives of over 64,000 people across the country, which is equal to the population of Boone County. It must be a priority for everyone to work together and solve this problem.

The other issue facing us is the probability that we need to expand the current jail that was built in 1992 or build a new jail. We cannot arrest our way out of this problem, and we need to think outside the box. We need to consider alternative solutions such as transitional housing, increasing community corrections programs, extending probation programs (and) additional space to increase the jail treatment programs, just to name a few.

What are your qualifications to run for this office?

I have been in law enforcement since I came to this great county. I have 34 years of law enforcement experience along with my educational experience, which includes an AAS in engineering, a B.A. in business and a master’s degree in business management.

What is your favorite thing about Boone County?

The community and the people I serve every day.

What changes do you hope to bring about if elected?

We have begun the changes that we wanted to make. We have hired people in most divisions since we had not hired any additional staffing since 2004. With the passing of the 2017 Public Safety Local Income Tax, we put an additional 29 staff members on board at the sheriff’s office, long overdue. Our changes are detailed by each year in our strategic business plan.

Favorite local restaurant: Oh no! I like to eat and I like many of them.

Favorite movie: “Saving Private Ryan”

Favorite quote or motto: One of my favorites, I have several. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”

Family: Married to my wife, Linda, for 31 years this year. I have five children that are all grown and on their own. I have six grandchildren.

Pets: I live in a small farm in northeastern Boone County. I love horses, dogs, cats and any animal that likes being around me.

Favorite vacation: Alaska

Something you’d like readers to know about you: My faith is my foundation of my life and has been since I have been 15 years old.

Something most people don’t know about you: My nickname is “Big Dog,” and I grew up in Iowa on a farm with eight siblings, and we grew up very poor. We always had hard-earned food and lots of love to get us through the tough times. Country music is my favorite music.


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