Candidate questionnaire: John Resman, Johnson County Sheriff
The following are Johnson County Sheriff candidate John Resman's responses to the Shawnee Dispatch's candidate questionnaire. Resman is running as a Republican in the primary against Dennis Hammer and Calvin Hayden. No Democrats filed for the seat.
Education: William Paterson University, Park University
Occupation: Retired, Johnson County Sheriff Office
Family: Married to Elizabeth 37 years, Son John; Daughter Michaelyn (deceased)
Years lived in county: 33 years
Previous experience: U.S. Army, Military Policeman, Federal Bureau of Prisons, Correctional Officer
Other community service: Delivered Meals on Wheels, Part-time employee at the Visitor’s Center Shawnee Mission Park
Campaign website: johnresmanforsheriff.com
What made you decide to run for Sheriff?
Throughout my 28-year career, I have always demonstrated the leadership qualities necessary to improve the services of the Sheriff’s Office. I have been a Detention/Field Training Officer, mentored detectives and supervisors, and I will continue doing so as Sheriff. Retiring as a Captain on the command staff has given me insight into making executive decisions that affect the entire office. I feel these qualities make me the right candidate to lead the Sheriff’s Office in the future. But above all, I chose to live in and raise my family in Johnson County because it is a safe community and provides excellent services to the citizens. As Sheriff I want to ensure that we continue to live in a safe community and that the Sheriff’s Office remains one of the most effective and professional law enforcement agencies in the country.
What special qualifications would you bring to this office?
The Office of Sheriff is about leadership and integrity and I have always demonstrated the leadership qualities necessary to make the Sheriff’s Office more effective in fighting crime. Whether implementing the process to form the Crime Scene Unit, Computer forensic Unit, or Sexual Predator Unit, I have always looked for ways to improve our ability to solve crime. As an Officer-in- Charge of an active Metro Squad, an Officer Involved Shooting Team Supervisor, or Captain on the command staff, I have demonstrated leadership skills to move the Sheriff’s Office forward. In my 28 years of service, I have never incurred any disciplinary actions. During my service with the Sheriff’s Office and during my military service I have received many commendation letters.
How do you plan to stay in touch with constituents if you are elected?
There are many ways to stay in touch with the community. The Sheriff Office has a Citizens Advisory Board that offers an avenue to communicate with different segments of the community. Through an open invitation for Johnson County Citizens to participate in the Citizens Academy so that they have a better understanding of the operations of the Sheriff’s Office and we have a better understanding of their needs; through social media so that information can be quickly reach the community. The most effective way to stay in touch with citizens is through face-to- face meetings with social and civic groups. This way there can be an exchange of ideas, concerns, and information.
As you have been campaigning, what issue have you found is most important for constituents? How would you address this issue?
There are many issues that are important to constituents. The question I am often asked is about the budget and overtime costs. The budget for the Sheriff’s Office allows it to provide needed services that no other law enforcement agency can provide and statutory requirements of the office. The Chief Financial Officer for the Sheriff’s Office is a Certified Public Accountant who provide expert oversight of the budget. This oversight provides the best option to monitor costs and detects wasteful spending of taxpayer money. This management practice must be continued in the future. The most effective way to bring down overtime costs is to be fully staffed. Until the Sheriff’s Office is once again fully staffed different measures can be explored such as different shift rotations to cover open shifts and possibly combining certain operations.
In your own opinion, aside from or in addition to the above issue, what are three most important issues facing the Sheriff’s Office and would address them?
The three important issues that face the Sheriff’s Office are; the first is the budget, with looming budget cuts every year, the Sheriff’s Office already has in place an efficient staff, to include a Certified Public Accountant as the Chief Financial Officer that has adopted sound fiscal management practices without sacrificing public safety. The fiscal management practices that are in place must be continued in the future.
The second, with the high possibly of retirements in the next three years efforts in retention and recruitment of new Deputies will need to be one of the top priorities to meet the needs of the citizens of Johnson County and the statutory requirements of the office. Hiring new Deputies has been difficult due to the competition between area law enforcement agencies. The third is keeping the Office of the Sheriff an elected office and not appointed. The past two Johnson County Charter Commissions have discussed and voted on the appointment of the Sheriff and it is the time to have a plan in place to prevent this from happening. Being the chief law enforcement office in the county the Sheriff should be held accountable to the citizens of Johnson County and no one else. We, citizens of the county, should never give up our right to vote on who should serve out best interests.