“Let’s Make a Difference in 2020”
As your Indiana Sheriff’s Association President I am preparing and planning a year that will benefit every Sheriff and support my theme this year of “Let’s make a difference in 2020”. As I enter my 14th year as a county sheriff and my 1st year as President of the ISA, I understand that I am following previous Sheriffs that have held this position who were committed and passionate about their objectives. I am honored to be your president and understand and accept the tremendous responsibility I have been given in 2020. I am focused and accept this challenge of “Making a Difference” this year but am aware that this can only happen if all 92 Sheriffs work together. Part of my responsibility and objective this year is to get every Sheriff involved and engaged. We Sheriffs need to learn from, rely on and be there for each other. With this approach we can be the most powerful team ever assembled.
We as Sheriffs understand the challenges we face. What will it take to see results? My approach this year is to incrementally take on these issues and get the change we are looking for. From my experience, I feel if we bombard Legislators and the State House with a myriad of complaints and projects, nothing will get accomplished and our power will be diminished.
This year at our Winter Conference instead of having all the Sheriffs walk to the State House in uniform we asked the legislators to walk over to our conference knowing that they are in session and busy. At the ISA reception 50 legislators attended and as important the legislators stayed and were engaged with over 80 Sheriffs that attended the Winter Conference which was unprecedented for a Winter Conference.
Thursday morning began with almost every Sheriff office of the 92 Counties represented with the newly appointed Indiana Homeland Security Director Steven Cox as the first speaker. Governor Holcomb the keynote speaker was very gracious and appreciative of the Sheriffs in Indiana and his remarks were very supportive of all law enforcement in Indiana. The Governor did remark that he was aware of issues facing the Sheriffs and would work hard to address these issues. The next speaker was the Lt. Governor for Indiana Suzanne Crouch, after the Lt. Governor was the United States Attorney for the Southern District Josh Minkler. Jay Chaudary, J.D Director of the Indiana Division of Mental Health and Addiction and Dr. Danny Meadows Medical Director of Logansport State Hospital and a Forensic psychiatrist addressed the Sheriffs. Mr. Chaudary acknowledged that he more than understood the problems the Sheriffs were dealing with regarding Mental Health in the jails and the problem of the unacceptable time signed court ordered mental health commitments are staying in the county jails before they are placed in the State Mental Health facilities. This acknowledgment was a tremendous positive step for the State in dealing with mental health issues that affect every sheriff. We as Sheriffs couldn’t ask for more.
This year’s conference was remarkable to say the least. You could feel the electricity and positive synergy with the Sheriffs in attendance. Never before have 92 Sheriffs been in the same room at the same time. I personally contacted and spoke to every Sheriff and asked them to at least attend the Governors address and explained our approach on this serious problem of Mental Health in our jails.
When the Governor walked up to the podium and witnessed history with the amount of Sheriffs in attendance, it sent a strong message that the Sheriffs standing together were a powerful group that could get a lot done in 2020.
Throughout the year the Indiana Sheriff’s Association will continue to address other issues such as the reduction of the state reimbursement that occurred last year, jail overcrowding, and school safety. Our desire is to work with our legislators to get as much accomplished as possible in 2020 and make Indiana the best it can be.
By working together, there are no limits on what the Sheriffs of Indiana can do and accomplish.
David M. Reynolds
Porter County Sheriff…2020 ISA President