Sheriff's candidate Q&A: Todd HansonI want to send a clear message that there will be no free rides for abusers in Goodhue County if I am sheriff, said Goodhue County Sheriff candidate Todd Hanson.
Residence: Cannon Falls
Public Involvement: Former Cannon Falls Police Reserves; former Jaycees member; member of Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association.
Education: Cannon Falls High School; Red Wing Technical College, Solar Technology; InverHills Community College, Law-enforcement; Alexandria Technical College, Law-Enforcement skills; St. Mary's University, Police Science.
Work: Sergeant, Cannon Falls Police; Sergeant, Zumbrota Police; Sergeant, Faribault Police.
What are some of your major objectives for the sheriff's office?
In these tough economic times, more and more people are depending on government assistance for welfare, food stamps (EBT) and housing, which is understandable. But I have seen a lot of abuses. Some people come from other states only because they can milk our system, and people that really need the help can't get assistance or are denied. I would put more emphasis on welfare and public housing fraud investigation. I want to send a clear message that there will be no free rides for abusers in Goodhue County if I am Sheriff.
What is the biggest law enforcement issue facing the county and what would you do to manage it?
One of the biggest issues I believe we will be facing is how we use our resources as law-enforcement, so the citizens know we are out there working for them to keep our communities safe. This includes having a responsible budget. I believe we also have to concentrate and put more effort towards fighting illegal drugs, instead of seeing how many seat belt tickets we can write. Working closer together with our surrounding counties builds a stronger knowledge about criminal activity that may be coming into our communities.
In the wake of the recession, the county has been forced to make some tough decisions as it deals with an ongoing budget crunch. How would you guide the Sheriff's Office through what many are predicting are the lean financial times ahead?
All departments have to tighten their belts in these economic times. People in the department have to work harder and combine tasks to get the job done. Layoffs and job cuts would be a last resort. On the other hand, if we have retirements or employees that go elsewhere, those positions may not be filled in order to trim the budget. People in administration, including myself, would be out of the office and hitting the streets more often. I think you lose touch with real issues when you have been behind a desk too long.
What do you think the biggest changes with law enforcement will be this decade and how can the Sheriff's Office adapt to those changes?
Illegal immigration enforcement. Some public leaders and politicians think it is not our (local law-enforcement's) job to enforce illegal immigration. Whose job is it then? And that is why we are facing such a big issue now. It has gotten out of control. Illegal immigration costs us in jobs, healthcare, welfare and criminal activity and that affects everyone, no matter where you live. As Sheriff, I would be a voice to our legislator that we need an illegal immigration bill and would rally other public leaders to do the same.