Haakon County Candidates for Sheriff in General Election November 8th
Fred Koester, Republican Candidate
Family: My wife Missy and I have raised a blended family of seven children. Hers, mine and ours. One boy and six girls. They are all doing very well and I am proud to be their father.
Experience in Law Enforcement? I have been in Law Enforcement for almost 23 years: Eight years as Chief of Police in Murdo; Four years as Jones County Sheriff; and almost 11 years as the Haakon County Sheriff.
Why are you running for Sheriff? Because there is more work to be done. Haakon County and the communities within were well established long before I arrived. I am proud to be part of what this county has built and I want to contribute the best I can to the safety and security of all that live here.
What shapes a rural County Sheriff (In your mind, builds a good one)? I believe a rural Sheriff needs to put his public first. All people are friends and family. With a small Department such as ours, this position really needs to become a Lifestyle rather than just a job. There should be no keeping track of hours worked or how many days you have off. A good Sheriff should work until the job is finished. There is always more work to be done.
What is our number one problem our county will face in the year 2023, and beyond, and how will you attack the situation? The illegal use of narcotics. Methamphetamine is the number one problem within our county. We are not alone. Every County and every community have this same problem. It effects families, children, schools, employers and the communities. I have been very proactive with this issue. I have made over 40 felony drug arrests since I have been here. This problem continues and more work needs to be done.
Final comment from you about being elected County Sheriff: My daughter Libbi, Missy and I moved here for a job almost 11 years ago. We truly feel this is now our home. So many wonderful people have made us feel this way. In my heart and in my head, the Position of Haakon County Sheriff is and will continue to be a source of Pride and where we are meant to be. I wish to thank everyone for the past and present support that you have shown me.
Tim Quinn, Independent Candidate
Family: I was born and raised in north central Haakon County. My wife Lori and I have been together for 34 years and we have raised 2 sons. Joshua lives in Wall and works in construction, while Kelton is currently at Mitchell Tech studying Architectural Design & Building Construction. I am very blessed to come from a large family that has always supported me very strongly.
Experience in Law Enforcement? I have been a first responder in Haakon County for 20 plus years, but I also served as the Deputy Sheriff for Haakon County from November 2016 through April 2021. Since then, I have continued to update my training to retain my Law Enforcement Certification in the State of South Dakota.
Why are you running for Sheriff? It was not my intention to run for Sheriff when I resigned from the Deputy Sheriff position. Shortly after my resignation I was overwhelmed by the people who came to me to say they appreciated the job I did as the Deputy Sheriff. I am very grateful and humbled by those comments. Those comments are the reason I would like to return to Law Enforcement by running for the Office of Sheriff of Haakon County. I have stated from the beginning of this campaign that I am not here to point out what is wrong in the Sheriff’s Office. I simply believe that more can be done.
What shapes a rural County Sheriff (In your mind, builds a good one)? A rural County Sheriff is someone that is on call 24 hours a day for calls involving cattle on the highway to assault and everything in between. Generally, there is not a crew of deputies to handle the calls that come in, so the Sheriff is required to put in as much time or more than his deputy. The Sheriff will have to take care of administrative responsibilities as well as patrolling, counseling, and making arrests. I believe a good Sheriff needs to be able to talk to individuals of all ages and must be willing to take on emergency calls knowing that backup may be many miles away.
What is our number one problem our county will face in the year 2023, and beyond, and how will you attack the situation? Haakon County has the same issues as many other rural areas, including, but not limited to drugs and alcohol abuse. I would like to start with the schools in our county. There are many programs that can be implemented, but I believe the simple approach is where we need to start. Simply visiting classrooms and having a presence in the schools can go miles toward building rapport with the kids as well as the faculty. I believe as law enforcement officers we should be approachable by all the people we serve.
I would also make a change in patrolling, to include having a presence in all areas of the county on a regular basis. It is good to be able to visit with people and hear their concerns. Not only on days where there is a crisis, and not only with the people that live inside city limits. As I mentioned earlier, I would make a concentrated effort to be in all the schools in Haakon County. These are things that can be done with a minimal cost. There will always be equipment and training that will need to be upgraded. Unfortunately, these changes do come with a cost, but I would work very hard to spend money as efficiently as possible.
I do not have the belief that the job of Sheriff is an easy one. In the time that I served as Deputy Sheriff I saw nearly all the issues that come through our county. I believe I have a fair amount of patience to deal with any problem, but I also believe that sometimes patience isn’t enough. Sometimes action needs to be taken to resolve a situation sooner rather than later. I believe that our local law enforcement personnel need to have continuing training to handle our local issues, but I will work with other Law Enforcement Agencies in our area and ask for assistance when it is necessary.
Final comment from you about being elected County Sheriff: Most of my life has been spent in Haakon County. I’ve seen the changes, good and bad, that comes from a society that has become extremely mobile. The mobility means that law enforcement issues from several states away become a local problem much sooner than we would like. I believe that the Sheriff’s Office needs to be able to evolve as quickly as the issues it will face. I also believe I bring a certain amount of energy to the Sheriff’s Office to deal with these issues. Thank you for your consideration and I would appreciate your vote on November 8th.