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  • Writer's pictureBill Raines

Republican Sheriff Candidate Gregg Taylor Responds to Subscribers Questions

LAWRENCE COUNTY - (March 17, 2022) - The Lawrence County Zephyr requested subscribers to submit questions to the Republican Lawrence County Sheriff's candidates. A total of four questions were asked to both candidates.

Two candidates are seeking the Republican nomination for Lawrence County Sheriff which include Lawrence County Chief Deputy Gregg Taylor and Indiana State Police Sgt. Greg Day.

Because the Libertarian candidate Darin Kinser already has won his party nomination, Lawrence County Zephyr will seek information on his platform in November.

(Lawrence County Chief Deputy Gregg Taylor is seeking the Republican nomination for Sheriff)

This is Chief Deputy Gregg Taylor, Lawrence County Sheriff's Department response to the four questions.

What are your qualifications do you have to be the next Lawrence County Sheriff?

Response: " I want to thank the Lawrence County Zephyr for allowing the Sheriff candidates to express their respective platforms and to thank the Lawrence County Community for their ongoing support of Law Enforcement," said Gregg Taylor.

Qualifications to be Sheriff: As a dedicated member of the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department for over 25 years and as an employee of Lawrence County for over 30 years, I have come to develop a deep appreciation for this county and its citizens. In this time, I have become passionate about our department and want to see it excel and continue to move forward. At the Sheriff’s Department, having worked my way up to the position of Chief Deputy after having served as patrolman, D.A.R.E. Officer, Training Coordinator and Major, these positions have allowed me to gain a vast amount of experience. Even with being involved in administrative decisions since 2015, being Chief Deputy is the one position that gives a true taste of what it is like to be Sheriff. As Chief Deputy, you are second in command to the Sheriff in the daily operations of the both the law enforcement and jail divisions. This also includes Court Security, Transport, Civil Process and Animal Control. You must collaborate closely with the Sheriff in policies and procedures and decisions affecting the department. You field concerns from citizens and work diligently to find the answers that they seek. Often, you will receive public information requests and have to work with the requesting parties to assure that these are handled correctly. The Chief Deputy is involved in the testing and hiring process of new officers and in the testing and internal promotional process for rank openings. The Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department Merit Board has regularly scheduled meetings and the Chief Deputy plays a vital role in the operations of those meetings. As Chief Deputy, I work closely with the Sheriff on the department budget and expenditures and attend several regular meetings that coincide with the operations of the department and Office of Sheriff. I attend and have filled in for the Sheriff in meetings such as the Lawrence County Commissioners and Lawrence County Council.

In the absence of the Sheriff, the Chief Deputy assumes command of operations. As Chief

Deputy, I am subject to 24-7 call out and have responded numerous times on weekends and

after hours to assist in major incidents such as homicides, suicides, motor vehicle accidents and other investigations. It is my pleasure to be able to assist the men and women of the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department and to ensure that they have the tools and resources needed to effectively do their job. Being Chief Deputy with 25+ years of law enforcement experience in making critical decisions, supervising personnel, and overseeing and leading several operational areas within the department will allow a seamless transition from Chief Deputy to the Office of Sheriff.

What are the three leading law enforcement concerns of Lawrence County?

1.) Drug Related Issues: As many are aware of, Lawrence County has experienced its share of issues concerning drug addiction and those who choose to either deal, possess and use these substances.

Unfortunately, these issues can lead to other types of offenses being committed as well.

Methamphetamine related charges represented the number one reason people were booked into the Lawrence County Jail in both 2020 and 2021. Methamphetamine related charges increased almost 9% from 2020 to 2021. Officers at our department work hard to pursue and investigate these offenses in addition to taking other calls for service. I am happy to say that since we are now back to full staff, we have been able to assign a detective to the drug investigator role. While this detective can assist in other types of investigations with his expertise, his primary focus will be drug investigations. Also, with the addition of our most recent academy graduates and their soon to be completion of the field training program, we will have more available manpower per shift. This will equate into us being able to free up

our three K-9 officers, one of whom is assigned to each shift and to allow them to dedicate time exclusively to drug interdiction patrols and investigations. These officers will work closely with our drug investigator in these types of cases. As Training Coordinator, I oversaw our department hosting nationally recognized drug interdiction training such as Desert Snow. We were able to solidify funds through available grants to pay for these training venues and were able to offer seats free of charge to other agencies as well. If elected Sheriff, I will continue to pursue all avenues of availability to again host such types of training or to send officers to such training to ensure that they have the knowledge and skill sets to keep up with ongoing trends as they relate to these types of investigations. We will continue

to work with and assist other agencies in investigation and efforts to stop these types of activities. It will take a joint effort from law enforcement and judicial agencies and our community working together to solve the issues of drug use.

2.) Mental Illness: At times, we see issues with Mental Illness cross over and go hand in hand with problems of drug addiction. At other times, they can be stand-alone issues. Either way, this has resulted in law enforcement officers serving as first responders in a lot of these crises situations. I am a proponent of CIT (Crisis Intervention Team) training for our officers. This training, of which I am the coordinator of for the department, gives officers a deeper and clearer understanding of the different types of mental illness and how it can affect those afflicted with it. We currently have officers trained in CIT procedures and have officers enrolled for the upcoming class. This training establishes a connection between officers, mental health providers, hospitals, and individuals with mental illness. CIT training for our officers will give them more tools at their disposal that can increase officer safety. One study

revealed safety can increase by upwards of 80% on calls for service involving people with mental illness. CIT training can allow officers more time to focus on other calls for service and other duties. It can also result in cost savings as it can reduce incarceration rates substantially in some circumstances. I am also a proponent of our correctional officers being CIT certified as well. I will work diligently with our jail staff and providers to see that there is in place a solid system of assistance for those who are incarcerated and suffering from these types of issues.

3.) Crimes Against Children: These most heinous acts against children will not be tolerated. Our detective division does a stellar job at investigating, interviewing and collecting evidence in these cases.

We will ensure that our investigators and officers receive new and updated training and tools to assist in their investigation of these types of offenses. We have a full-time detective who manages our sex offender registry and who works diligently to assure that everyone is being held responsible and meeting their individual requirements. We will continue these pursuits and work closely with other agencies and prosecution in bringing to justice those who would harm our children.

How will your administration oversee the operation of the jail?

Throughout Indiana, you will see county jails operating under different circumstances regarding jail administration. In some jails, the Sheriff has chosen to have sworn law enforcement officers overseeing the jail. In other counties, civilian employees over see the jail operations. Regardless, the Sheriff of the county is ultimately responsible for the jail and its operations.

In Lawrence County, we have civilian personnel overseeing daily operations of the jail. These positions include the Jail Commander, Assistant Jail Commander, and Lieutenant. A female Sergeant is assigned to oversee the female employees and kitchen operations. These employees are sworn Special Deputies.

Our three assigned shifts are overseen by a Sergeant and Corporal. These employees are a dedicated, hardworking group of individuals who take pride in their work and service to the community. They communicate regularly with the Sheriff and his administration, keeping them apprised of jail operations and any issues that may arise. If elected Sheriff, I will continue to keep this dedicated staff in place, and we will work diligently together to ensure that the Lawrence County Jail continues to operate smoothly and efficiently.

How policing will look like in Lawrence County under your administration?

If elected to Sheriff, this administration will be a “We”, rather than an “I” administration. This is not about what “I” will accomplish, but rather about what “We” can accomplish together. “We” will be proactive as we protect and serve our citizens. “We” will uphold their constitutional rights in an unbiased manner. “We” will uphold professionalism.

“We” will be actively engaged with our communities and citizens. “We” will work hard and

diligently to bring about a positive resolution to whatever we are engaged in, whether it be

calls for service, investigations or other law enforcement or community missions. “We” will

bring a positive light to the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department and will always strive for

excellence.” We” are and will continue to be a department that our citizens and employees can be proud of.

Other information about yourself or what the public needs to know:

In case someone does not know me, here is a short bio. I have been at the

Sheriff’s Dept since 1996. I have been married to my lovely wife Aleta for 32 years. She is a 34-year Wal Mart Associate here in town. We have two daughters Emily and Kaci (Kaci is deceased from Type 1 diabetes) a grandson and son in-law. I am a passionate turkey hunter, sporting clay shooter and supporter of the 2nd Amendment belonging to several pro-gun organizations. We have attended Bedford First Assembly Church for many years and are actively involved in church ministry and leadership. I have an Associate Degree in Conservation Law Enforcement from Vincennes University and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration from Indiana Wesleyan. I am an active member of the Bedford Noon Lions Club.

Indiana State Police Sgt. Greg Day response to the same questions can be found in another story.

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