Let’s discuss a hot topic of this election…EXPERIENCE and EXPECTATIONS.
By Kayla Murdock, Candidate for Kiowa County Sheriff
Not all experience is created equal. What do you want from your Sheriff?
While growing up in Kiowa County, I have vast knowledge of the layout as well as what I consider to be a great relationship with the citizens. I am willing to listen to your concerns, and work on the best solution to keep our county safe. While I will be fair and treat everyone equal by following the law and enforcing it, I believe using officer discretion is key. I do know there are incidents where flexibility and compassion are important. I will continue to ensure the citizens are protected, while not being so overbearing that you fear getting a ticket every time you walk outside your front door.
I have worked for the Kiowa County Sheriff’s Office since 2019 where I started in the office working the budget, model traffic code, meeting key contacts that were beneficial and learning the ins and outs of what makes the office tick.
I have started from the bottom and worked my way up. A successful leader should know how to do every position underneath them, which I have been:
I am dedicated and always willing to learn. I went to training to update the current curriculum and become the KCSO field training officer and have successfully assisted two of our new deputies in learning the ins and outs of Kiowa County. We are becoming more selective, and not all have made it.
I am trained in advanced search and seizure, advanced traffic stops, and advanced investigations. I have been incident commander during multi-agency active situations. I am the NCIC/CCIC Coordinator for the office, been the evidence technician, obtain a direct supervisor role, certified radar instructor and I am in charge of following code and selling abandoned vehicles. I am also currently working on developing programs to educate children on safety concerns and preparing presentations. I am certified in Standardized Field Sobriety Tests and NHTSA Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement, as well as in charge of countless tasks that happen in within the Sheriff’s Office on a daily basis. I am also the lead investigator into current drug investigations in the county.
A sheriff’s deputy has different duties and expectations than general law enforcement. A Sheriff also has statutory authority, while other law enforcement agencies do not. While I am already aware of and perform the duties, any other officer that would come from another agency would have a mandatory field training since a Sheriff’s office is a unique agency requiring deputies to have statutory duties.
Did you know that while experience on the ROAD does help, but it is not the only experience that is needed to run the Sheriff’s Office?
Your Sheriff should know how to:
I am experienced in all of the above. I worked one on one with Sheriff Sheridan learning how to break down the budget and ensure that we did not go over. These are your tax dollars, and I am a conservative spender. I am also a grant writer that can help to provide additional money that will not have to be pulled from county funding. I have 16 years experience managing my family’s business as well as a Bachelor’s Degree in Business!
My office door will always be open to the public. You can ensure that if you have a problem, I am willing to listen and look for the best solution. I have made contacts with local and area agencies to work one on one and ensure our community has the resources needed that have not been an option before. I have worked through obstacles to bring in Southeast Mental Health along with Co-responders to assist in areas that deputies have not been trained in. When there is an issue with not only mental health but substance abuse, we can work together to provide the resources to get individuals help. I know mental health is a taboo subject to some, but it is near to my heart after losing my sister to suicide in 2004. We need to open our eyes to see how much the world has changed, whether we like it or not. Jail might not always the answer, but also is not even an option in certain occasions anymore. So many of our resources have been stripped to take individuals to jail. Things we could arrest for just a few years ago are no longer an option. We have to learn how to fix the problem, instead of just saying it is not our issue. Adding resources can do that!
After controversial incidents have occurred, we have had to change our tactics and adjust in the last few years drastically. I have followed and up to date on all of the new laws, including Senate Bill 217. I understand the frustration and the need for the public to trust our office. We are who you call at some of the most difficult moments of your lives. You should know that every deputy that arrives on scene will hold integrity, accountability, and trained to the best of their ability. I will do my best to provide the correct supervision and training to ensure that both the citizens and the Sheriff’s Office will be proud of the deputies that wear our badge.
I am currently working on a new and improved training plan that will be transparent and show that our deputies have not only passed mandatory training, but extra training and shows their comprehension and knowledge of the specific task.
Working one on one with local and surrounding agencies, I have gained critical connections with several of the agencies in the area. I have contacts with current Sheriffs, previous Sheriffs, Undersheriffs, Sergeants, and Corporals that are just a phone call away and willing to help whenever needed. These connections are crucial during incidents, and I am confident that whenever needed they will answer, as I hope that they feel they can call upon Kiowa County for the same. I have met with the city council and the commissioners, and willing to collaborate with them on a one-on-one basis. I have contacts and have worked with all of the emergency agencies within the area. I am pushing to create a better working relationship with all and ensure ample communication during critical incidents.
Last but not least, I have spoken with current Sheriff Frazee, who has agreed to stay on as an advisor, should I win the election. His vast knowledge of the Sheriff’s Office and life experience will be beneficial and is another tool on my belt that will help the Kiowa County Sheriff’s Office be a successful department. I will have a panel of advisors, including Sheriff Frazee, Sheriff Sheridan, and Undersheriff Schneider to help ensure that we are doing everything we can for the citizens of Kiowa County.
So as a final word, do not let one person’s view of experience be your only take. Yes, traveling Highway 287 can be beneficial in learning a lot about law enforcement. It has taught me a lot as well and given me vast experience. However, working the road is not all that is needed. Law enforcement is ever evolving, and Kiowa County needs someone who is willing to learn and adapt. What one might have thought they knew then, is not the same now. Please take that into consideration when you read editorials and more importantly when you vote this election.