On October 18, JCA, along with members of the Decriminalizing Communities Coalition, hosted a public forum for the candidates running for Sheriff in Hennepin County.
One of the candidates, incumbant Rich Stanek, was unable to attend. He sent a public letter for attendees to read. You can read the letter by clicking HERE.
Dave Hutch, the other candidate in the race, was able to attend. The discussion, moderated by Nekima Levy-Pounds, was recorded, and can be watched by clicking HERE.
Unfortunately, due to time constraints, not every question from the audience was able to be asked and answered. We sent the remaining questions to Dave Hutch. His answers to those remaining questions can be read below:
Question 1: What type of access should inmates have to opiate addiction management treatments such as methadone and suboxone? I feel they should have access to these items if they are willing to accept help to rehab the addiction.
Question 2: What kinds of policies and protections would you offer regarding transgender inmates? Where would they be housed and how would the determination of which facility the individual would be placed in be made? Would individuals have access to medical treatments related to sexual transitioning? I would work with the transgender community to find a safe and fair solution offering services and facilities to accommodate the needs of the community members.
Question 3: Recently the POST board was informed that they were approving courses for continuing education that were accredited by the same company that created them. Also a class on de-escalation taught at MCTC by an officer with an excessive force history. What can we do?! I’d have to do more research on this specifically, however the CIT (Crisis Intervention Training) is a good starter program but we need to do more like the co responder program (Mental Health and Addiction staff with deputies)
Question 4: What are you most proud of in your career? I am proud of many moments in my career. One of them that stands out is after an officer left our department they emailed me telling me how much I shaped their career and how my support made their work life and personal life better overall. In addition to this I have many proud moments during my tenure of service helping those struggling or in their worst moments with solutions to help improve their overall situation.
Question 5: Don't most deputies start their careers in the county jail? How will you get those new diverse deputies into the community? Currently they are starting in the jail however under my leadership and administration I would change how we staff the jail and hire corrections officers for jail and utilize licensed deputies for other units including community outreach.