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Haukoos announces candidacy for sheriff

By Staff | Mar 25, 2008

Gene Haukoos

Gene Haukoos is announcing his candidacy for Emmet County Sheriff. His name will be on the Republican Party ballot for the Iowa Primary on Tuesday, June 3.

“It is my goal to create a sheriff’s department that trains, works and meets regularly with all law enforcement and other emergency services in the county,” the candidate said.

Haukoos is a lifelong resident of Estherville who graduated from Estherville High School in 1968.

After serving 23 years in the U.S. Navy retiring as a Master Chief, he returned to his hometown with his wife Avis and their three children, Brandice, Candice and Peter. Three grandchildren, Brooke, Brandon and Sutton round out the family circle.

Haukoos is presently employed as the Estherville Ambulance service director.

He stated, “I am not a trained law enforcement officer. But I served as a police reserve officer for five years prior to being elected to the City Council. I was a jailer until I took over the ambulance service. For the past 10 years I have served as a tactical paramedic for the High Risk Entry Arrest Team.”

He has also been certified by the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy to teach first aid and Haz-Mat (hazardous materials).

Haukoos holds Fire Fighter I national certification. “This gives me a better understanding of what firefighters do and an in-depth look into injuries and illnesses associated with firefighting.”

For the past eight years, he has served as a medical investigator. In this time, Haukoos has investigated more than 36 deaths.

“If elected sheriff I will be required to attend one of the Iowa Law Enforcement Academies within one year of being elected.”

Haukoos noted he sees the sheriff’s position as that of an administrator who oversees a dedicated group of seasoned deputies, dispatchers, and jailers.

“I will allow them to do what they have been trained and hired to do. My military service has taught me to listen to the troops and when possible involve them in the problem- solving process. I also understand that you can delegate authority but not responsibility.”

Haukoos answered the question “Who will run the ambulance service?” if the voters elect him as sheriff.

“My wife will run the day-to- day responsibilities. I will provide oversight and take calls when available. The dedicated volunteers will continue to provide the community with quality care.”

In regard to serving as Estherville city councilman and handling sheriff responsibilities, the candidate has researched this issue and there is no conflict of interest.

“According to the legal opinion I received, the fact that they are different levels of government and as long as the city does not have a contract with the county to provide law enforcement there is no conflict of interest.”

Haukoos said for more than 30 years there has been an on again, off again discussion of countywide law enforcement.

“In 2007 a group was formed to study countywide law enforcement. That study should be completed to see if there are any benefits to changing our current system.”

The candidate also shared his opinion on the concealed weapon permit bill and stated, “I will issue concealed weapons permits to applicants who pass the FBI NCIS background checks, then pass an approved firearms safety course that has classroom and live fire requirements.”

Since his return to Estherville he has exemplified service to the community. He is actively involved with:

n Estherville City Council (12 Years).

n Veterans of Foreign Wars (service officer).

n American Legion (adjutant).

n Avenue of Flags (treasurer).

n Kiwanis (past president).

n High-Risk Entry Arrest Team (tactical paramedic).


n Emmet County Public Health (chairman).

n Emmet County Veterans Affairs Commissioner.

n Emmet County Council of Governments.

n Emmet County Emergency Responders Association.

n Emmet County 911 Board.

n Local Housing Authority (chairman).

n Estherville City Council Finance Committee.

n Estherville Chamber of Commerce (past chairman).

n Emmet County Safety Day Camp.

n Sweet Corn Days committee.

Through the years, the candidate has received various awards received for community service, including:

n Volunteer Ambulance Service of the Year.

n Citizen of the Year 2000.

n VFW Community Service to Youth Award.

n State of Iowa Volunteer Award.

n Paul Harris Fellow.

n VFW Service and Leadership Award.

n Seven Seals Award for Leadership and support of the National Guard.

n Special Congressional Recognition of service to the community.

Summing up his leadership abilities in the past 30 years, Haukoos acknowledged, “I have managed systems as small as five people and some as large as 100 people, paid and volunteer. I have a reputation as problem- solver and an organizer. I listen, research, organize and provide leadership. Feel free to contact me at 712-362-3698 or ghaukoos@ncn.net.”