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S.O.S. Polling Place Finder

Troy's priorities as sheriff

Relentlessly pursue those who engage in violent crime and sale of drugs

Violent crime has been on the rise in large metropolitan areas around the country. The Benton County Sheriff’s Office and our public safety partners in Central Minnesota have worked hard to keep this wave of violent crime at bay. Crime rates in Benton County are low and continue to fall. We will dedicate our full resources to find and arrest those who engage in violent crime.

The sale of illegal drugs in our communities must be met with strict enforcement efforts. Illegal drugs destroy the fabric of our society by creating people who are addicted to these substances. Even more tragically, illegal drugs like heroin and fentanyl are taking the lives of our friends and family members in alarming numbers. The diversion of prescription medications through the sale of these medications on the streets also works to create addicts and destroy our society. Addiction causes many people to do desperate and illegal things in order to feed their addiction. In addition to the personal harm being done to the person addicted to these substances, society as a whole suffers from the crimes and poor decisions brought on by these addictions. Many property crimes are committed by people seeking money to pay for their next high. Over and over again we find during these property crime investigations that the stolen property was traded to a drug dealer to satisfy a debt or pay for the next high. People making decisions while under the control of these addictions tend to make decisions centered on feeding these addictions. Job loss, broken families, neglected children, and a host of other ills result from these addictions. Through my work as a drug task force investigator and a detective, I have personally seen the results of these decisions. Competent and able people living in abandoned buildings with no sanitation in order to have more money to feed their addiction. Children left unattended and neglected because their parents were focused on feeding their addiction. Teens who have fallen into addiction and fail to meet their true potential due to this addiction. Families suffering from lack and want because large chunks of one or more of the adults' income was spent on feeding their addiction.

Violence and the sale of illegal drugs go hand in hand. Desperate people addicted to these substances have become violent and committed assaults, robberies, and murders to continue in their addictions. The sellers of these illegal drugs use violence as a tool to maintain control over their portion of this illegal business. Violence directed against rivals, violence directed against individuals in their own organization, and violence directed against anyone in the area who would dare to question or threaten their illegal business.

The Benton County Sheriff's Office has and must continue to pursue those who engage in violent crime and the sale of illegal drugs a priority. We currently have two full time investigators assigned to the Violent Offender Task Force. Their top priority is to investigate violent crimes and drug sales. As sheriff I have made focusing our efforts to reduce and remove from our streets the individuals who engage in violence and sell these illegal drugs a top priority. By working with our partner agencies and the public we can and will make Benton County and Central Minnesota a safer place by fighting the spread of illegal drugs.

Continue to work closely with our local public safety partners

“Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.” - Henry Ford

Everyone has a law enforcement agency that is primarily responsible for public safety in their neighborhood. Each agency is like an individual player on a team. A winning team needs to work together to succeed. When it comes to public safety, I believe that the Benton County Sheriff's Office needs to both operate at a high level as an individual agency and work well with other agencies as a team. The Benton County Sheriff's Office is currently partnered with the sheriff's offices of Stearns, Sherburne, Morrison, and Todd counties and the police departments of St. Cloud, Sauk Rapids, Sartell, Waite Park, and St. Joseph on the Central Minnesota Violent Offender Task Force. The Benton County Sheriff's Office is currently partnered with the Stearns County Sheriff's Office to form a joint SERT (SWAT) team and a joint Dive Team. All Benton County law enforcement agencies have teamed with Stearns County law enforcement agencies in special traffic law enforcement details. We recently teamed with the Mille Lacs County Sheriff’s Office, Foley Police Department, Milaca Police Department, and Minnesota State Patrol to make Hwy 23 a safer road in Benton and Mille Lacs counties. In addition to these specialized teams, our patrol and investigative staff routinely work with our partners in local law enforcement agencies in day to day duties. As sheriff, I have emphasized collaboration with our partners to better serve the public good. As your sheriff, I will continue to ensure the Benton County Sheriff's Office works hand in hand with area police departments, sheriff's offices, state, and federal partners. Through mutual aid, cooperation, and information sharing we are able to bring more resources and personnel into the fight against crime.

Law enforcement agencies are not the only team mates we have in public safety. The Benton County Sheriff's Office has and will continue working with our partners in fire departments, emergency management, and emergency medical services (EMS), especially during times of crisis. In these times of need, working as a team helps assure that those in need receive help quickly and efficiently. Working together as a team is right thing to do for citizens and public safety. As sheriff I will ensure this cooperation with our partners continues.

Use technology to make our enforcement efforts more effective

“There's an app for that!” While that phrase has racked up a lot of miles in the past few years, it still echoes the idea that every day, technology changes the way we do things. The way we accomplish even some of the most basic daily tasks, like finding directions or accessing the news of the day, has changed drastically over the past few years with the advent of modern technology. These advances in technology have made us much more efficient at finding things and doing things. From the perspective of law enforcement, technology drives what we do in three ways. Technology aids our law enforcement efforts by making us more efficient at what we do. Technology affords us new ways to exchange information with the public. Technology also provides new avenues for criminals to access information about people for their criminal purposes.

Responsible governments find ways to do more with the resources they have. Technology helps us do this in many ways. Advances in ways we communicate and share data allow deputies to spend more time in the field doing their work. Technological advances also allow us to quickly and accurately identify trends in crime and respond to those crime trends. Advances in radio technology have allowed local law enforcement, fire, and EMS agencies the ability to easily and seamlessly talk to each other during critical incidents, making our response to these incidents faster and more effective. I believe that just as businesses and families have found ways to leverage technology to make our companies and homes more efficient and cost effective, law enforcement must continue to leverage technology to do the same. We must use technology to ensure we are delivering services when and where they are most needed. We must use technology to remove obstacles to providing these services. We must use technology to find evidence and locate criminals.

Few areas of our lives have been changed to a greater extent by modern technology than the methods we use to communicate with each other. We exchange information through social media, text messaging, photographs, and videos, just to name a few. The Benton County Sheriff's Office needs to use these technological advances to exchange information more readily with the public. As sheriff, I initiated the effort to leverage social media as a tool for distributing information and crime prevention education to the public. We have solved several crimes and arrested several individuals as a result of our presence on social media. I believe it is important that the Benton County Sheriff’s Office continue to find way to be more closely connected with the public.

While technology has improved our lives in many ways, technology also has a dark underside. Criminals exploit technology to find new and evolving ways to reach people for their criminal desires. Criminals use technology to steal our financial information; criminals use technology to steal our personal information; and criminals use technology to exploit vulnerable populations for their immoral purposes. I believe the Benton County Sheriff's Office needs to stay on top of these trends and find new ways to combat these evolving threats.

Focus on building greater connections with our communities and our youth

Connecting with citizens is a priority for law enforcement agencies. Law enforcement needs involved and connected citizens to help solve crimes, prevent crimes, and strengthen neighborhoods. Initiatives such as Neighborhood Watch, National Night Out, and Community Oriented Policing all focus on creating local solutions to neighborhood issues with the assistance of law enforcement. Through these initiatives, neighbors come together to become closer and more involved in watching out for each other. Involved neighbors are more easily able to identify suspicious activity and more likely to report suspicious activity, helping law enforcement discover and solve crimes. Involved neighbors build stronger communities. Strong communities are more resilient and resistant to the effects of crime. As sheriff, we have increased our outreach efforts to groups and organizations in the community. As your sheriff, the Benton County Sheriff’s Office will continue to make this a priority.

The old saying is that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. In law enforcement this ounce of prevention is present in proactive programs for our youth, such as DARE. Through DARE, grade school students build a positive relationship with their DARE Officer. This DARE Officer delivers a proactive message to the children, encouraging them to make good choices; especially good choices about drugs, alcohol, and violence. This positive interaction and encouragement will serve to build up our youth and assist them in reaching their full potential. With so many negative messages and influences seeking to impact our children, I believe it is vital that the Benton County Sheriff's Office continue to assist families raising children by delivering these positive messages through the DARE program. As your sheriff, I helped organize and initiate the Benton County Police Activities League program. In a partnership with the Foley Police Department and Rice Police Department, once a week during the summer, children age 5 to 15 have gathered with law enforcement officers to participate in athletic and craft activities. This program builds connections between youth and law enforcement officers in the community.