In 2018 I ran on the following Campaign Objectives for my first term as Cass County Sheriff:
1) Community and Departmental Relationships - By forming relationships with our community stake holders, we can work together to proactively address crime and matters of public safety.
2) Transparency & Education - Keeping the public informed and fostering open dialog for a better understanding of incidents or police operations. Working with communities to provide education in topics associated with Law Enforcement and safety.
3) Public Safety & Emergency Preparedness - By proactively preparing for emergencies and matters of public safety we can reduce the negative impact on our community. Some of these areas include School Safety, Opioid Crisis, Active Threats, Natural Disasters, and Criminal Activity.
Since my election in 2019 we have faced many challenges in Law Enforcement and across the nation. We have faced a flood, times of civil unrest, (continued) pandemic, and recruiting/retention issues. We continue to adapt to the challenges that face us and remain forward thinking.
Questions Asked by the League of Women Voters and Fargo Forum for Voters Guide
Sheriff Jesse Jahner's Answers
1) Why are you the best Candidate for the Position?
During the past three years as Sheriff my team and I have led during a flood, pandemic, times of civil unrest, and a shortage of law enforcement applicants. I have worked hard to build community trust, transparency, and partnerships. I have a Bachelor of Science Degree from NDSU, numerous law enforcement leadership courses, and I serve on several boards. I have both worked and supervised in all areas of law enforcement. Legislatively, I have advocated for public safety in our community.
2) What is the biggest issue facing the Sheriff's Department right now and how would you address it?
Staffing shortages and inadequate space needs at the jail are our two biggest challenges. As Sheriff I have worked with our commissioners to increase wages and add sign on bonuses while maintaining a balanced budget. In addition my team and I started a recruiting team to help attract applicants. I also, worked with commissioners to study future space needs in the jail for public safety and our growing community. This includes behavioral and/or health needs of those who are staying in the jail.
3) Are there any procedures you would implement to improve or maintain transparency in the Sheriff's Department activities? Transparency is very important in earning the publics trust. As your Sheriff I have worked on a number of ways to increase transparency in our community. My staff and I have implemented body cameras, have resumed our citizens academy, present monthly law enforcement information at our Adopt a Community meetings, post regularly to our social media platforms, and give regular presentations to various groups in our community. Additionally we put out an annual report of Sheriff's Office activities.
4) How would you describe your leadership style and how does that qualify you for the position of Sheriff? I would describe myself as forward-thinking, a leader by example, a servant leader, and mentor. I believe those in leadership positions should lead by example in order to show others you are part of the team and willing to do the same things they are expected to do. Servant leaders are willing to serve for the wellbeing of the community and the growth of others. Coaching and mentoring involves listening to others and helping them succeed in their roles.
5) Are there any areas of the Sheriff's Department Budget that you would streamline or optimize?
I am very proud that over the first three years of my term as Sheriff we have not had any major budget increases prior to this year. Still we have remained progressive in terms of training, education, equipment and personnel increases. We have been fiscally responsible while still maintaining a high level of public safety. We have seen some increases in overtime but that is largely due to the nation wide shortages of law enforcement candidates.(Read More)