Meet the 4 candidates for Hamilton County sheriff

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Four candidates are running for the open seat of Hamilton County sheriff. They will face off in the May 8 Republican primary election.

 

Name: Dennis Quakenbush

Age: 38

City: Cicero

Occupation: Captain, Patrol Division – Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office

How many years have you lived in Hamilton County?

My entire life, 38

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

We choose to live here because it is one of the safest places to live in the nation.

Why do you want to run for elected office?

I have been called to serve others. I believe I am uniquely qualified to lead the sheriff’s department in keeping our county safe.

What is your previous political experience?

None

What are your top priorities if elected?

Being the fastest-growing county in Indiana, our county’s needs are constantly increasing. The jail is one of them. I will oversee a major expansion of our jail so we can ensure that people who break the law are held accountable and not just released like other counties sometimes do. I will continue to ensure our deputies are tough on crime. During my tenure as patrol commander, we have increased criminal arrests by 31 percent. Also, I am committed to supporting the citizens of Hamilton County’s 2nd Amendment rights.

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

The biggest issue is crime from outside counties. Other types of crime that are of concern to the citizens of Hamilton County include school safety and human trafficking. Our county has been recognized as one of the best places to live and safest places to live in the United States. I’m proud to have been a part of the leadership these past seven years in helping us get to that point.

What are your qualifications to run for this office?

I have over 16 years experience in law enforcement. I have been your patrol commander for over 7 years. I’ve been recognized by Mothers Against Drunk Driving, Road officer of the year and merit deputy of the year. I have a masters in Business Administration, private sector experience and own two small businesses.

What is your favorite thing about Hamilton County?

The safety that it offers my family. The vibrant community and events make us never feel like we need to leave Hamilton County.

What changes do you hope to bring about if elected?

I would like to expand on the safety and security we currently enjoy in this community.

Favorite local restaurant: Matteo’s

Favorite movie: Hoosiers

Favorite quote or motto: The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. – Edmund Burke

Family: Wife: Christen, 4 Sons: Henry, Paul, George and Charlie

Pets: Lexie – German Shepherd

Favorite vacation: Naples, FL

Something you’d like readers to know about you: I am a lifetime resident of Hamilton County. My faith and my family are most important to me, including my family’s safety. My wife, Christen and I have four young boys. I clearly have a vested interest in keeping our county safe. When voting for me on May 8, you can count on a leader who will always have the safety of our community top priority.

Something most people don’t know about you: In our previous home, my small family and I set up a homestead on 6 acres in northern Hamilton County with a large garden and farm animals. We lived off our land as self-sufficiently and sustainably as possible. Although my current position requires most of my time be spent serving the public, we strive to live as efficiently as possible which is exactly how I will run the sheriff’s department.

Name: Bill Clifford

Age: 51

City of residence: Westfield

Occupation: Sergeant, Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office

How many years have you lived in Hamilton County? Over 35 years.

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

Due to job reasons my parents moved to Carmel from Highland, Ind., in the early 1980’s and I have stayed ever since.

Why do you want to run for elected office?

I have always had a calling to serve, and with the endorsement of the Hamilton County Fraternal Order of Police I am honored that my brothers and sisters in blue and brown believe in me to lead them. There is a desire for positive change, to have strong community relations and we must hold everyone accountable for their actions.

What is your previous political experience? Have you run for or held an elected office before?

I am a current precinct committeeman and actively volunteer for the Republican Party.

What are your top priorities if elected?

Part of my Five Pillar Plan is Empowering Victims of Abuse, Expanding Addiction Treatment and Holding Offenders Accountable.

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

Due to the status of Hamilton County, we unfortunately see offenders who come from different communities that try to bring crime to our backyard. We have also seen how the opioid epidemic impacts everyone. We must focus more on mental health and keep the sexual predator registry as up to date as possible.

What are your qualifications to run for this office?

I have proudly been in law enforcement for over 30 years and actively volunteer in our community. I know that leadership is most effective from the front instead of behind a desk. While others goals may have been to climb the ladder, mine has been to hold the ladder so that everyone is set up for success. You can see a list of my experiences on my website.

What is your favorite thing about Hamilton County?

Although we are a rapidly growing community, I appreciate how it still feels small. From being on the road patrolling the streets to being involved with community events, it is always a pleasure to see new and familiar faces. Hamilton County is home to Hoosier Hospitality.

What changes do you hope to bring about if elected?

I am open to hearing all possibilities of how the Sheriff’s Office can better serve you, but my commitment to the community is to have a higher standard and take every action with integrity.

Favorite local restaurant: Donatello’s

Favorite movie: The Lone Ranger

Favorite quote or motto: In the service of others I receive a sense of calm.

Family: Wife, Sheryl, daughter, Sydney, sons, Mike and Will

Pets: None

Favorite vacation: Summer of 2017 with the family to Mt. Rushmore

Something you’d like readers to know about you:

If there’s one thing I want others to know about me is that I will always put your needs before my own.

Something most people don’t know about you: I am the chef for the St. Maria Goretti Italian Fest.

Name: Eddie Moore

Age: 56

City of residence: Fishers

Occupation: Law Enforcement

How many years have you lived in Hamilton County? 32 years

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

Brenda and I graduated from Anderson University and we chose to live and raise our family in Hamilton County

Why do you want to run for elected office?

I have and desire to continue to offer service to this county, its communities and all whom live, work and play here in this capacity.

What is your previous political experience?

I campaigned for the office of Hamilton County Sheriff in 2002 as a republican.

What are your top priorities if elected?

Each of you! I am planning on bringing you the most effective and efficient law enforcement possible constantly adapting to the changes we all know are going to happen. It is the job of leaders to anticipate change and then plan and lead successfully through this change. I am equipped to do this.

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

Public safety, heroin epidemic, jail operations; all being worked through by inspired and motivated employees eager to serve.

What are your qualifications to run for this office?

Almost 31 years of vast law enforcement experience within the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office in formal leadership roles in all divisions. This combined with a M.Ed. (Northcentral University) in organizational leadership. No other candidate has these unique qualifications in leadership. I have been a trainer of law enforcement in topics ranging from tactics, leadership, ethics and leading/managing change. I served as jail commander and have working knowledge of the complexities involved in the overseeing of all divisions within.

What is your favorite thing about Hamilton County?

Brenda and I value the schools our children have been/are privileged to attend, the availability of work opportunities, conservative values and the people we live, play and worship alongside.   

What changes do you hope to bring about if elected?

The current culture within the agency is not vibrant and, therefore, not readily adaptable for the necessary changes coming. Law enforcement has historically been a bureaucratic beast resistant to change whether or not it is even demanded by those it serves. I believe you are not getting all you pay for in this service.

Please understand, the officers and employees are giving honorable service. I am simply stating there has been little, if any, vision communicated for which to strive for. They have all been expertly trained for their job and are not encouraged to innovate and take their training into the community and serve. Servant hearts with warrior spirits is what you should demand from us and I have and will be the role model and visionary leader to strive to meet this expectation. Throughout this campaign, none have questioned my dedication and leadership abilities. In fact, over the years the leadership I have offered has been publically praised by all three of my opponents.

Favorite local restaurant: Believe me; no matter your taste I can suggest a good local restaurant.

Favorite movie: Second Hand Lions, Tombstone, Patton, Big Fish; I have a decent library of my time-honored favorites

Favorite quote or motto: My Life verse is Matthew 6:33. Depending on the need, I have many quotes and prose available which inspire me.

Family: Brenda and I have raised one daughter and two sons and are still in the process of raising a fourth (a son). We have three grandchildren and a fourth on the way. Our greater family claim is our being the adopted children of the most high God and this relationship determines all others!

Favorite vacation: Wherever Brenda desires, the place is secondary for me as the experience with those I share it with is the pleasure of the adventure. But, speaking for Brenda, a blue ocean and warm sand seemingly lifts her spirit significantly. This, in turn, lifts mine.

Something you’d like readers to know about you: I strive to exemplify the grace and missional living of Jesus in all activities and relationships I find myself in.

Something most people don’t know about you: I am an avid and vociferous reader. Leaders are readers!

Name: Mitch Russell

Age: 64

City of residence: Arcadia

Occupation: Manager of Security at Riverview Health

How many years have you lived in Hamilton County? 64

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

My parents moved here for work in the 1950s, and we have loved Hamilton County so much we wanted to raise our family here.

Why do you want to run for elected office?

I have been in public service all my adult life. I have a vast experience in the law enforcement field and 40-plus years serving the communities of Hamilton County.

What is your previous political experience?

I have served the citizens of Arcadia for 18 years on the Arcadia Town Council – 15 of those years as president of the town council.

What are your top priorities if elected?

My top priorities are the heroin and opioid epidemic that is facing our county. I want to look at programing to assist in the heroin addiction to reduce reoffending. I also want to help make a change in our service to mental health. The jail expansion is very important to me and so is the road division.

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

Some of the biggest issues facing the Hamilton County residents are the heroin epidemic , any crime that affects us (burglaries, thefts, intoxicated drivers) and being more involved with all law enforcement agencies to support each other to make this the safest county in the State of Indiana.

What are your qualifications to run for this office?

My qualifications include 41 years of law enforcement experience, law enforcement management, creating and maintaining budgets, road patrol lieutenant, lieutenant head of criminal investigations and captain of the Juvenile Detention Center (Now Juvenile Services Building). I was also an expert in fighting child abuse and neglect cases, certified forensic counselor, and director of security in the corporate world where I am responsible for 1,500 employees, a156-bed facility, patients and visitors. I was the chief of police in Arcadia, and I am currently the town board president.

What is your favorite thing about Hamilton County?

My favorite thing about Hamilton County is that you can still have the small town America atmosphere, but be close to the city.

What changes do you hope to bring about if elected?

I want criminals to be afraid of the law enforcement in Hamilton County. I want them to know if you cross our boundaries to commit a crime we will find you and arrest you. I want the heroin off the streets.  I will work with every law enforcement agency in the surrounding towns, cities and states to make a joint effort in keeping our community safe. I will also be there to support and help serve with the men and women who put their lives on the lines daily to keep our community safe. I would like to enhance community policing. I want our law enforcement officers to know their community. I want them to stop and talk to our citizens to build a community atmosphere. I want the youth of our community to know that we are there for them.

Favorite local restaurant: El Camino Real

Favorite movie: Field of Dreams and Sandlot

Favorite quote or motto: My Father (Treat people how you would like to be treated and you will never

have a problem)

Family: My beautiful wife of 34 years, Melanie. We have four children Abby , Amanda, Mollee and Matthew. We also have five grandchildren Ellie, Maggie, Reese, Hallie and Sutter.

Pets: Four fish and a cat

Favorite vacation: Anywhere with my family. We just returned from a family trip to Florida with 23 of us. Family is very important to me.

Something you’d like readers to know about you: I am kind and I cry at any sad movie.

Something most people don’t know about you: Raising three girls, I can sew Barbie clothes, braid hair and put up a pretty awesome pony tail.


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