Election 2020 Q&A: Dennis Kucera
Tama County Sheriff
ABOUT THE CANDIDATE
Name: Dennis Kucera
Profession: Law Enforcement, Peace Officer
Education: Graduate North Tama Schools, Certified Peace Officer, Iowa Law Enforcement Academy, including annual training in all aspects of law enforcement to maintain certification.
Family: My wife Gayle, 2 sons, a daughter, 9 grandchildren.
Experience: 1 year Belle Plaine Police Department, 38 years Tama County Sheriff’s Office, 18 yrs. a Deputy Sheriff, 20 yrs. as Sheriff.
1. What is your overall vision for the future of the county sheriff’s office over the next four years?
My vision for Tama County Sheriff’s Office started when I was elected in 2000,and goals, expectations, priorities, continue into the future as it has for the past 20 years.
My vision/goal as your Tama County Sheriff is to continue to be a respected, trusted representative of the people of Tama County and of the Sheriff’s Office. Lead by example, to listen, to respect, but most of all, being a Sheriff for all the people in Tama County. I have the same expectations for the Tama County Sheriff Office staff.
My (our) priorities are to serve the Tama County residents to the best of our ability to keep this county a safe place to live. I focus on the areas with issues and concerns, address them to meet our obligation. Also continuing the strong working relationship we have developed with all law enforcement agencies, local, state, federal. I believe my accomplishments have been accepted as practical, attainable and affordable. We will continue to maintain the working relations with our local businesses and schools assisting with training to keep workers, staff, and students safe.
2. How would you maximize the sheriff’s office budget during the next term?
Budget preparation is an annual responsibility. I prepare each budget based on what the actual needs are for the Sheriff’s Office Operation. I have prepared 19 budgets with minimal increases. I have the ability to offset the budget with grants we have applied for to update and improve our equipment in our office and patrol vehicles. Extra revenue allowed me to improve our security systems at the Tama County court house. The opportunity to do this offsets several areas of the budget. My goal is to use your Tama County tax dollars in a fiscally efficient manner.
3. Police reform has been a much discussed topic over the last year. What are your views on this issue and what, if any, application is there to law enforcement in Tama County?
Police Reform really has a positive purpose and starts with leadership. The actions we’ve seen across the country bring truth to the need of Police Reform obviously, but does Tama County fall into that same category? Should all law enforcement officers be stereotyped the same as bad cops causing bad results? Or be called racist and be accused of police brutality? Or accused of not enough equality or diversity? The actions of officers in several states ending with unnecessary deaths has caused a time for action on an agency to agency basis. I continually receive overwhelming comments of support towards the Tama County Sheriff’s Office from the public. Positive approach to Police Reform for the Tama County Sheriff’s Office I continually monitor my staff, and approach them when there is a problem. Over my years as your Sheriff I have dismissed personnal for breaching the line into unsatisfactory. The Sheriff’s Office has had diversity in the past and present. We have Equality in Tama County Sheriff Office being an equal opportunity employer and considering all who apply to join our agency.
4. Why do you think voters should support your candidacy for county sheriff?
I’ve received much encouragement from voters and supporters to run for re-election. I enjoy serving Tama County as your Sheriff and I believe I have shown my loyalty and dedication to Tama County for 20 years. I believe I’ve proven that I’m a Sheriff for all people in Tama County and I have demonstrated honesty, experience, knowledge, and leadership to what it takes to manage the Sheriff’s Office. I’ve always done my best to protect and serve all the people of Tama County and will continue to do so.
EDITORS NOTE: Candidates were allowed up to 700 words to complete their answers for the Q&A. Candidate forums will appear on page 3 in the weekly edition of the Sun Courier over coming weeks.