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Letters to the editor

By Staff | May 30, 2008

To the EDN:

My name is Todd Suhr and I am chief deputy in Palo Alto County. I am writing this letter in support of a great person by the name of Mike Martens.

I have known chief deputy Mike Martens for over 20 years. Mike and I have worked on many joint investigations and projects over those many years. I truly believe Mike Martens 25 years of experience and leadership, working for people of Emmet County, is your best asset for your next sheriff. Mike’s knowledge of the day to day operations of a county sheriff’s office with all the various aspects is tremendous. His experience in jail operations, civil processing, criminal investigation and office administration is what the good people of Emmet County deserve and should expect in their sheriff.

I urge everyone to vote for Mike Martens for your next Emmet County Sheriff.

Very truly yours,

Todd D. Suhr

Ruthven, IA

Letters to the editor

By Staff | May 30, 2008

To the EDN:

In the last week, the Estherville Daily News and The Armstrong Journal have published articles on the candidates who are running for Emmet County Sheriff.

Brent Shatto was quoted as saying, “he is the only Democratic candidate who can develop an excellent working relationship with the Estherville Police Department.” Four years ago, Shatto was the Republican candidates for sheriff when he ran against me and lost. What happened to the Republican party? Because you lose you jump ship and abandon your Republican supporters! Now you call yourself a Democrat? Where were you during the Democratic convention this spring? It appears to me that you will do anything to get elected including jumping political parties.

Shatto and Gene Haukoos say there is a breakdown in the law enforcement agencies’ ability to work together, I agree. But, why is the Emmet County Sheriff’s Department to blame? When you have a police chief who won’t acknowledge you when you say, “Good morning” but instead turns and walks away, how do you work with someone like that? Shatto goes on to say “including fire and emergency services.” The sheriff’s department has always responded and assisted ambulance and fire departments when there has been a call in the county. Just ask anyone who has needed them.

The sheriff’s department has always made its deputies’ reports (burglary, theft, drug, etc.) available to all law enforcement officers to keep them informed on what is going on in the county. So, why doesn’t the police department make its reports available to the sheriff’s department? Shatto, as police captain, says he is in charge of the day-to-day operations of the department. If that’s true, why doesn’t Shatto provide the police reports to the Emmet County Sheriff’s Department to keep deputies informed of the activity that is going on in Estherville? This is critical to the people of Estherville!

Case in point: a few months ago, there was a report to the police department of a child stating she had been abducted from Estherville Lincoln Central Middle School. At no time was the sheriff’s department informed of this by Shatto or the police department. The sheriff’s department could have been out looking for the suspect, informing the Armstrong-Ringsted School so they could be on alert with their students, etc. Is this how Shatto develops excellent working relationship between the two departments?

Shatto goes on to say that he is the administrative commander of the HEAT tactical team. The M.A.R.T. tactical team, which the sheriff’s department is a member, has asked to train with the HEAT team on a couple of occasions. The HEAT team has always declined to train together. If there would ever be an incident (shooter at the school, etc.) it will probably take more than one tactical team to deal with the issue. By training together, both teams would be better prepared to deal with such an incident. Besides, most of the HEAT members live in Minnesota and it would take at least 45 to 60 minutes to respond. How does this build better working relationships between law enforcement agencies?

Both candidates, Haukoos and Shatto, talk about countywide law enforcement. Shatto says, “there is no need for countywide law enforcement” and Haukoos says, “we can achieve countywide law enforcement.” Apparently no one has told them but we pretty much have countywide law enforcement. I believe that it would be beneficial for the citizens in Estherville to go countywide, by eliminating the police chief position and let the sheriff be the administrator. By doing so, it would improve the working relationship between both departments, reduce the duplication of some services and save the taxpayers of Estherville at least $50,000 a year!

Finally, Shatto states that the challenge is the current condition of the law center and equipment. If he hasn’t noticed, a new roof is currently being replaced on the law center, new carpet is going in the law center next month and $500,000 has been budgeted for new communication equipment in the law center and three new repeaters. For three years, I tried to work with Chief Eric Milburn in budgeting for new radios and every year he refused to work with me. Finally, I called a meeting with Dan Jorgenson (911 Board member), Jim Jenson (county supervisor), Steve Woodley (Estherville city administrator) and myself to talk about the funding possibility for new radio equipment. In less than one hour we had come to an agreement to fund an upgrade and how it was going to be funded!

On Tuesday, June 3 my vote will be for the man with 25 years of law enforcement experience with the Emmet County Sheriff’s Department. He has the experience and knowledge for the job.

Larry Lamack