Voters in Ward County are fortunate to have two quality choices in the race for county sheriff.
Todd Keller and Steve Kukowski, veterans of the law enforcement field, are both capable of doing the job. Both believe the county needs more deputies in rural areas to deal with shifting population issues, and both think the sheriff and the department must become more visible in the county. Both believe in a proactive approach to managing the department, and both have experience managing employees.
But while the two candidates do have some similarities, we believe there is a difference.
Kukowski began his career with the sheriff's department, but has spent the majority of his time with the Minot Police Department, where he is the operations commander. If elected, Kukowski has clear goals for the department, and for the position of sheriff.
Kukowski already is well-known and is a visible part of the community. He's actively involved in a large number of boards, task forces and organizations. He would establish a county crime prevention unit, and involve the department more in education programs at area schools. He would strongly encourage an increase in training for the entire department. And he correctly believes, in no uncertain terms, that the sheriff's department and the Minot police force must improve their working relationship and do more to work together, including sharing equipment, information and services whenever possible. Kukowski also has an edge in supervisory experience, education and training.
The Minot Daily News endorses Steve Kukowski for Ward County sheriff.