Dakota County Sheriff: Mitch Scott
Why did you enter law enforcement, and what has kept you in the field?
I have always been interested in law enforcement, even at a young age. I entered law enforcement because I care. I feel that an officer
is in a position to help people and if they can change one person's life it is well worth the sacrifice they have given towards the profession.
The thing that keeps driving me is the ability to make a difference.
When you respond to a call for help, an accident, or a medical and you see the faces of the people you are helping, you want to do more. That is the driving force. You want to help people.
What is your philosophy regarding law enforcement?
Law enforcement has certainly changed over the years; however I still believe we are here to provide the public a service by providing a safe environment. A law enforcement officer is tasked with enforcing the law not writing the law. An officer has to wear many different hats while performing their job. They are an enforcer of the laws, counselor, educator and one of the most important roles a mentor. Bottom line: we are there to help people in any way possible.
What is the major law enforcement issue in the county and how should it be addressed/resolved? How can this be accomplished in light of reduced budgets and employee reductions?
No matter where you live in the county we are all facing the same issues regarding the hard economic times. Many agencies have reduced the amount of officers patrolling the streets; the sheriff's office being no different. So what is the major law enforcement issue in the county, it would be how to you maintain the public safety and welfare when you are cutting the amount of officers that are providing the public safety and welfare to the communities. The sheriff's office is in a unique position as the largest law enforcement agency in the county. They have the ability to restructure, reorganize and change job descriptions in their divisions. This will allow the sheriff's office to reach out and assist the local agencies in providing the services to the residents. These changes will allow officers to stay in their cities that they have been hired by to protect and serve.
During these hard times the agencies need to work together as a whole to achieve one goal, and not work independently and waste resources.
Why did you decide to run for sheriff?
After completing my masters degree I initially wanted to become a police chief. When I heard Don (Gudmundson) was going to retire in early 2009, I decided instead of helping one community why not become the sheriff where you can help many communities. I think the sheriff has the ability to reach out to the entire county and should be a role model for public.
What makes you the best candidate for the position?
I believe it is healthy for any organization whether it is in the private or public sector to experience change. The current administration has had numerous issues regarding hiring and managing personnel which is evident with my opponent violating the Federal Labor Standard Act by not paying employees' overtime and sitting on the Governing Board of the Metro Gang Strike Force.
Throughout this campaign I have stated the people of Dakota County should be the ones who will choose their next sheriff. It should not be backroom politics or the good old boy network. The sheriff should be ethical and have the highest integrity, not purchase an opponent's domain name to intimidate them. I have maintained my integrity throughout this campaign. I have not and will not place my own agenda ahead of the people of Dakota County's needs. I believe with my experience and education I can bring a new vision and energy to the sheriff's office.