My job, in a nutshell, is really about managing personnel along with our annual budget. Oh, and being able and willing to attend a lot of meetings!
Years lived in Columbia/Mid-Missouri:
51 (my entire life).
Bachelor’s in criminal justice and master’s in criminal justice and law enforcement administration from Columbia College.
Favorite volunteer/community activity:
Coaching youth sports.
I started with the Boone County Sheriff’s Department in 1989 and have been there ever since! I spent the majority of my career in the enforcement branch until being elected sheriff in 2004.
A favorite recent project:
I have been and am currently working with several investment companies to come up with an early retirement package for our deputies. Our competitors in the law enforcement job market all have early retirement (55 or younger), whereas our retirement age is 62. It makes hiring and retaining harder than it has to be.
A Columbia businessperson I admire and why:
I would have to select two: Mike Teel, owner of Mid-City Lumber, and Bill Burnett, owner of Farm and Power – Lawn and Leisure. Both are shrewd businessmen and both are extremely charitable individuals, more than anyone in the community will probably ever know.
Why I’m passionate about my job:
It presents new challenges every day from both inside and outside the department.I find myself feeding off those challenges and, of course, solving or conquering them.
Why I’m passionate about my company:
This is not the first time I’ve said this and it won’t be the last, but the people I work with are truly a great group, and I’m fortunate to be a part of the group. They make the department what it is by the work they do each and every day.
If I weren’t doing this for a living, I would:
I can’t imagine doing anything else.
What people should know about this profession:
There are far, far more good law enforcement officers than bad throughout the country and the majority are in the profession for all the right reasons. It’s an extremely tough job, especially in today’s society. It seems to be an easy profession to armchair quarterback, but the reality is most people would crap down their leg if they had to experience what law enforcement officers do on a daily basis.
The next challenge facing my industry:
I actually see many, but one in particular stands out to me. It is a current challenge that will also be a future challenge. The vocal minority in society attempts to dictate how law enforcement agencies do their jobs through both the media and social media while the silent majority in society goes about their busy lives and remains silent. Law enforcement is judged by a small percentage of incidents when you consider the millions of contacts made each year, but somehow the image of law enforcement as a whole is being tainted.
My next professional goal:
Being re-elected in 2020!
Biggest lesson learned in business:
Treat your work budget like you do your personal budget; operate on a “need” basis and not a “want” basis and be sure to have an emergency fund for unexpected expenditures.
How I would like to impact the Columbia community:
Well I think we do that every day as a department in Columbia and Boone County, but not to the extent I would like. If we were talking about me personally, I would like to be a part of and lead a regional approach to law enforcement by forming a county police that would not only serve Boone County, but the City of Columbia as well.
Willingness to surround myself with great people.
My wife tells me I have a hard time identifying any!
What I do for fun:
I absolutely love to hunt, which is something I learned from and shared with my dad. I now get to share that with my sons. If I’m not hunting, you can find me on the golf course or spending time with my other foursome (wife and three kids).
My wife, Leslie, and I have been married for 25 years. We have twin boys, Tanner and Tyler, and a daughter, Katie. We are an extremely close-knit bunch.
Favorite place in Columbia:
My home, to be totally honest.
Accomplishment I’m most proud of:
There would be two: the job my wife and I did with our kids and being a part of building one of the best law enforcement agencies in the state.
Most people don’t know that I:
Love the television comedy “The Big Bang Theory,” and I cried like a baby when my kids left for college.