Where they stand Q&A: Matt Myers

Q: A 40 percent increase in the Bartholomew County local income tax has generated new revenues for county and municipal governments. What sheriff’s department program needs should get the highest priority when budget decisions are made to allocate new revenues?

A: I will continue to focus on the county jail, drug enforcement and adequate manpower for road coverage.

Q: There have been increasing instances of female Bartholomew County Jail inmates who are concealing drugs in body cavities to sneak contraband into the jail. What screening steps can and should be taken to reduce this activity?

A: This is a problem throughout our state. We monitor state and federal case law with regard to inmate strip searches. We adjust policies accordingly. Other Indiana jails have started using body scanners. With the help of the county council, we are researching body scanners that can detect concealed items.

Q: Since the fatal school shooting in Florida and subsequent threats reported at schools in Bartholomew County, the sheriff’s department and other local police have spent more time checking in at schools across the county during school hours. Should that daily effort continue, or does that leave other enforcement areas at risk?

A: We have been doing school patrols since I took office. Every law enforcement agency in Bartholomew County takes this seriously and we will continue the highest level of engagement with school resource officers, school personnel and students to keep our children safe.

Q: What would you do to bring more females and minorities into the ranks of deputies, jail personnel and administrators?

A: Our training staff does on-campus visits at many colleges statewide and we actively recruit military veterans. We also recruit via the National Minority Exchange and social media. We also work directly with the C4 Law Enforcement Program at Columbus East High School.

Bio

Name: Sheriff Matt Myers

Political party: Republican

Age: 49

City of residence: Columbus

Occupation: Bartholomew County sheriff

Education: Associate Degree in Criminal Justice, Vincennes University, 1989; FBI National Academy, 2010

Previous offices held: None

Previous offices sought: Bartholomew County Sheriff

Community involvement: Fraternal Order of Police Earl Brown Lodge 89, NRA, Indiana Sheriff’s Association, Alliance for Substance Abuse Progress in Bartholomew County subcommittee co-chair, Youth Services Advisory Board, Indiana Sheriff’s Association Training Committee, Ogilville United Methodist Church, former member of the Governor’s Impaired Driving Commission, ISA Scholarship Committee, Leadership Bartholomew County Board and Su Casa Columbus Board.

Immediate family: Wife, Kyra Goins Myers; three sons