Friday, July 18, 2008

Fisher's campaign 34 years in the making

I was able to cover the Buchanan County Sheriff's election. Some would say it was the most heated and controversial race for the county. Prior to the primary I sat down with each of the four candidates to do a profile.

St. Joseph News-Press

Ron Fisher has known for most of his 34-year career that he would some day campaign to be Buchanan County sheriff.
The St. Joseph native knew when he was a 21-year-old St. Joseph Police Department officer that he wanted to lead the county’s law enforcement officers. But he never anticipated such a tough race.
“I filed with two minutes to go because I knew how hard an incumbent is to beat,” Mr. Fisher said.
As a Democrat, Mr. Fisher will face current Sheriff Mike Strong in the primary set for Aug. 5.
“I’m 55 years old, and when you turn 60, a lot of times they don’t want you in law enforcement anymore,” Mr. Fisher said, citing some examples of close friends being asked to retire.
Mr. Fisher currently is a marshal and deputy sheriff at the Buchanan County Courthouse, where he has worked for almost nine years. Before that, he was a patrolman, detective and sergeant for the Police Department.
Mr. Fisher plans on putting the protection of citizens and the safety of officers first in his campaign, followed by budget concerns.
“I want to make sure they get the best bang for their buck when it comes to taxation,” Mr. Fisher said.
He also hopes to implement a booking fee for individuals who are arrested, which is a similar set up to what he said Joplin, Mo., and Springfield, Mo., currently use. The fee would be in the ballpark of $10 for each time a person is taken into custody.
As for the fleet of sport utility vehicles the department is currently driving, Mr. Fisher hopes to slowly replace them.
“We’re stuck with them now,” Mr. Fisher said. “We’ll have to drive them a while until we can swap them out with an Impala or other police-packaged car.”
Mr. Fisher hopes his knowledge of the city and many of its citizens can give him the extra edge needed to become the next sheriff.
“I’m a people person and I’ll listen,” Mr. Fisher said. “Public safety isn’t always fun and games, but you can still treat people with respect and kindness.”

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