Sheriff's candidate Q&A: Scott McNurlinIn my view, the recent upswing in illicit drug activity is the biggest law enforcement issue facing the county, said Goodhue County Sheriff's candidate Scott McNurlin.
Name: Scott McNurlin
Residence: Belle Creek Township
Family: Wife, Eileen, and daughter, Amy Jo.
Public involvement: Family Services Collaborative of Goodhue County, former chair and current board of directors member; Urland Church Council, council vice president; Red Wing Rotary, president elect; Chemical Health Initiative of Goodhue County, board of directors member; Red Wing Family YMCA, former Board of Directors President.
Education: Master's Degree in Police Leadership, Administration, and Education, University of St. Thomas; Bachelor's Degree in an Individualized Degree Plan, Emphasis Law Enforcement and Psychology, Metropolitan State University; Graduate of the F.B.I's National Academy in Quantico, Virginia; Graduate of the F.B.I.'s Law Enforcement Executive Development Seminar (LEEDS).
Work: Chief Deputy, Goodhue County Sheriff's Office
What are some of your major objectives for the sheriff's office?
* Increased drug enforcement is at the top of my list. Our recent narcotics investigation confirms drug trafficking is alive and well in our communities.
* Responsible fiscal management: Last year, through good fiscal management, we were under our anticipated budget by approximately $700,000.
* Increase jail revenue through the pursuance of additional contracts to board out of state and federal detainees.
* Safe Prescription Drug Disposal Program: Unfortunately, the theft and abuse of prescription medications is on the rise. This program allows for the safe disposal of unused prescription and over the counter medications.
What is the biggest law enforcement issue facing the county and what would you do to manage it?
In my view, the recent upswing in illicit drug activity is the biggest law enforcement issue facing the county. Our recent investigations showed the alarming rate at which we were able to purchase illicit drugs and their widespread availability throughout the county. We recently received a Federal COPS Grant to add an investigator into our Investigative Unit for the express purpose of drug enforcement. The additional position coupled with our existing position has paid huge dividends in our enforcement efforts. I look to continue using these positions and new technological innovations to step up drug enforcement throughout the county.
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?
Collaboration with our public safety partners in Southeast Minnesota for the express purpose of reducing unnecessary redundancies in technology and communications equipment will significantly help our bottom line. Each partner in the region must meet the FCC's new public safety communication standard by 2013 as we have done, which is a costly endeavor. By allowing others in the region to partner with us by sharing equipment and technology as well as ongoing operational costs, we can pay down future tax burdens to Goodhue County citizens and others in the region, which will help us all through these lean budgetary times.
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?
As stated previously, the need for further collaboration and consolidation will be the biggest changes the law enforcement community will face this decade. The driving force behind these changes will continue to be shrinking budgets through the loss of local government aid to counties and municipalities. At the sheriff's office, we will need to continue valuing innovation and new technological tools as a way to become more efficient in doing our jobs while anticipating the potential for limited growth or even reductions in law enforcement staffing levels countywide. These realities may force us to reconsider our current model of policing.