Name: C.J. Ryan
Office running for: Muscatine County Sheriff
Current Position: Muscatine County Sheriff (Incumbent)
What are the biggest issues you feel should be addressed?
I think people want good public safety, and we have some great deputy sheriffs out there providing it. I’ve increased training dollars for both the jail and the deputies, and we have good, quality equipment. We’re taking advantage of many different grant programs also. We have great interaction with the citizens, and great support for law enforcement here. I think people want the budget to be well-managed also, so that public safety costs don’t mean tax increases.
We recently obtained an $80,000 grant to put all new AEDs in the squads, and installed a prescription drug drop box at the jail with another grant. We’ve consulted with the Board on installing new alarms and video surveillance at the Courthouse, and that project is done. I also advocated for the new public safety grade radio system to help all law enforcement, fire, and EMS in the entire county.
We’ve eliminated part-time officer jobs at the jail, so now we are competitive with the job market in our hiring process and can retain qualified trained staff.
What steps would you take to correct/ impact these issues?
On the equipment side of things, we’re putting new lightbars on cars to improve visibility and officer safety, and installing new in-car computers to keep up with technology. New Watchguard in-car video systems are being installed as we replace cars, which are vastly superior to the old system we had. And of course the new public safety grade radios are in the cars, which is a great improvement in both reliability and safety.
We utilize grant dollars to provide many services: Drug Task Force officers, domestic violence overtime, and traffic enforcement overtime, for example. We also utilize grants for some of the equipment purchases. I’ve dealt with and managed many of these grant programs over the course of years, and we have a great management team.
Working with our federal partners, we’ve increased our federal inmate revenue. When I took over as Sheriff, that revenue was about $600,000 a year. We have been able to grow that to around two million dollars a year. Managing both the revenue and expenditure sides of the budget well means no tax increases due to public safety costs.
What would you like voters to know about you?
I was hired as a deputy sheriff in 1986, and have 30+ years of experience to draw on. We have over 80 employees and a seven million dollar budget. Experienced leadership counts. It’s a great honor and privilege to serve as your Sheriff.