Voters’ Guide: Douglas County Sheriff

The League of Women Voters of Greater Omaha contacts candidates during each election cycle and invites them to participate in the print and online editions of the Voters’ Guide. Candidates provide their biographical information and their positions on selected issues. Candidates are aware in advance that the biographies and answers will be printed exactly as submitted without edits for content, spelling, punctuation or grammar.

The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan organization that never supports or opposes any political party or candidate for office.

PDF of Douglas County Voters’ Guide | Find voter information specific to your ballot at vote411.org.

Everyone living in Douglas County, Neb., is represented by this office.

Candidates for Douglas County Sheriff

Timothy F. Dunning (R):  http://www.sherifftimdunning.com. Current Public Office: Douglas County Sheriff since January 1995. Past Public Office: None. Education: BS UNO Criminal Justice, MPA UNO Public Administration. Military experience: None. Volunteer experience: Mid America Council Boy Scouts, Coalition on Human Trafficking, Domestic Violence Coordinating Council, Red Cross Fight Crime Invest in Kids Major, County Sheriff’s Association Foundation Board, Nebraska Sheriff’s Associ Better Living INC., Explorer Scouts.

Mike Hughes (D): Web Site – http://Hughesforsheriff.com, Current Public Office, dates held – None, Past Public Office, dates held – None,
Education – Bachelor’s degree in criminal justice – University of Nebraska at Omaha Master’s degree in public administration – Columbia Southern University, Military experience – U.S. Army – Corporal Awards Army Commendation Medal Army Achievement Medal (3 times) Good Conduct Medal National Defense Medal Afghanistan Campaign Medal w/ bronze star Global War on Terrorism Medal Army Service Medal Overseas Medal NATO Medal, Volunteer experience – 100 Black Men of Omaha (Mentor) Assistant High School Basketball Coach (Sophomore level) Various guest speaking ventures Multiple community events to include career fairs and homeless advocacy

Douglas County Sheriff Candidates’ Responses

How can law enforcement officers engage with the community in ways that will gain the community’s trust?

Timothy F. Dunning:  Law Enforcement Officers need to be visible to the public and engage with them as frequently as possible to gain trust and familiarity. My agency is involved in the NETS (Neighborhood Engagement Thru Sports) and has proven to be very effective in interacting with youth in a positive manner. Our SRO’s (School Resource Officers) take advantage of a great opportunity to interact with kids by being available to them throughout the day and in after school activities. Shop with a Sheriff, Coffee w/

Mike Hughes: I believe that community involvement from a law enforcement perspective plays a vital role in helping to combat crime. I would recommend that the Sheriff’s Office in particular initiate community oriented policing. This would take the form of hosting back to school drives to provide young people with the essential tools necessary to be successful early on in the school year. Hosting bike rally’s, baseball, football, and or basketball events that can bring all members of our community together.

If elected, what two things do you hope to have accomplished by the end of your first year?

Timothy F. Dunning:  I have already had my first year so I would like to remain active in the community and on Boards that address community concerns such as: Opioid Crisis, Human Trafficking and Cyber Crimes.

Mike Hughes: I hope to focus a great deal of energy building relationships with other city and county leaders to bring a more collaborative effort to the Sheriff’s Office in order to bring more effective and efficient public safety to our citizens. I would also like to create a culture that emphasizes community oriented policing that can help bridge the gap between community and law enforcement. There are many issues that our community faces from the Opioid crisis, to gang violence.

The problems of gun violence are in the news. What do you think can be done, if anything, to improve safety in Douglas County?

Timothy F. Dunning:  I think the key ingredients is to encourage people to report crimes directly to Law Enforcement or through Crime Stoppers. The better Law Enforcement increases it’s dialogue with the Community the more apt people are to report. The stigma of being a SNITCH or a RAT needs to be translated into wanting to better your community and more safety for your family and neighbors.

Mike Hughes: Along with the enforcement of written laws and created tasks force to eradicate violent offenders law enforcement must work in conjunction with the community to provide opportunities for young people. Gun violence and socioeconomic status go hand and hand. With that if law enforcement officials can build rapport with the community I believe that this will assist in reducing gun violence (community-oriented policing). I would like to work with education agency to help promote higher education…

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