Rick Moghadam- Reporting
John Beeman makes history of being the first sheriff-elect in Madison County in 44 years. I had a chance to ask him what would the first month be like when he takes office in January. His reply is "The first month will be a review of the program areas of the department and getting input from the whole team." Several months ago, John Beeman answered 10 questions in a Facebook Messanger Conversation. (See Video Below at the Bottom From His Win Announcement)
(this interview was from April)
Question One In your opinion, what is Madison County’s most pressing law enforcement issue?
The most pressing issue that impacts the general public is the drug epidemic. But that is just a short answer, you have to take into account all of the interwoven socio-economic issues that are interconnected to the drug epidemic and the other crimes that are linked to the illicit drug use, gun violence, robberies, thefts. The sheriff can have a role in combating this issue, but it will take far greater comprehensive participation by law-enforcement, courts, clergy, probation and of course the public to make an appreciable difference.
Question Two: What do you see as the Sheriff's primary role?
The role of the sheriff is defined statutorily under Indiana Code, for example, housing and care of prisoners, serve the courts, civil process, etc. I see the position as someone who can bring together the various entities in local law enforcement and other community groups to build a comprehensive plan to work on various issues that can be addressed by law enforcement and are within the purview of law enforcement in the communities.
Question Three: Why do you want to be the sheriff?
The last fifteen years of my career with the US Marshals Service, I worked directly with sheriffs, police chiefs, and agency leaders and I learned a lot of things in that time from each of the individuals I worked with. There was a tremendous amount of good learning experiences and a few of "what not to do." My thirty years of training and leadership experience gives me a perspective that I feel would keep moving the Madison County Sheriff's Department forward and it is unique amongst the current candidates. I have lived a life of service to this country, state, and community.
Question Four: Describe your law enforcement/managerial experience
My first managerial experience was a a Non-Commissioned Officer in the US Army as a squad leader in an Anti-Tank Platoon. My law enforcement began when I was hired by the US Marshals Service in 1991. In 1995 I had been elevated to the role of Deputy In Charge of the Fort Wayne Division. I was responsible for the well being and the safe detention of over one hundred in-custody defendants. I scheduled prisoner transportations and court room productions, civil process and investigations, judicial and courthouse security. I also had oversight of the junior deputies assigned to the division and their assignments. In 2006, I was promoted to the United States Marshals Service Investigative Division in Chicago and worked under the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force. In this position I overseen the OCDETF fugitive investigations for Michigan, Ohio and Indiana. These investigations involved multi-national drug organizations and high level defendants. In 2007, I transferred to the Indianapolis office to supervise the fugitive task force. When I arrived the task force consisted of seven federal, state and local officers and located in one office, Indianapolis. When I retired in December 2021 I supervised all of the US Marshals Service task force operations in Indiana. I had personnel in Indianapolis, Fort Wayne, South Bend, Hammond, Terre Haute, Evansville and New Albany. I supervised over fifty task force officers and federal agents. I oversaw the task force overtime, training, equipment, travel and vehicle budgets. I collaborated with sheriffs, police chiefs and agency leaders to work towards a common goal of safer communities.
Question Five: Do you consider yourself to have good morals and integrity? Why?
I entered the US Army in 1984 and I was instilled with Duty, Honor Country. I have conducted my professional and personal life following those words.
Question Six • What are some challenges you've faced in the past, and how have you dealt with them?
The hardest challenge I dealt with in my LE career was the loss of the two police officers in the line of duty conducting fugitive investigations. I dealt with these events with Faith and the knowledge that the men and women in law enforcement make the conscious decision everyday to suit up and go out and do things that no one else will to make a difference.
Question Seven • How do you determine which priorities are most important in an emergency situation?
Based upon training and experience you would assess the situation and start making decisions. Clearly, you prioritize human life over material things and work towards a solution that minimizes your exposure to death or injury and bring the situation to a close.
Question Eight • In what ways are you working on self-improvement?
Prior to retirement, I attended training continuously to keep abreast of the new trends in law enforcement, techniques and case law as it pertained to my profession. Since retirement I have been able to be more involved in the youth shooting programs that I volunteer in and I plan to attend training that will enhance my coaching abilities.
Question Nine • What is your favorite thing about our community?
The people, it is our greatest asset and I am continuously amazed at the kindness, generosity and friendships I have made during my whole life here in Madison County.
Question Ten- Do you have a plan of action to maintain jail safety?
All jails already have a "plan of action" for a variety of events. It is one of the items the US Marshal Service inspects for when contracting a jail for housing federal prisoners. If elected as the next sheriff I would begin a review of all protocols and policies at the department to ascertain their current viability and usefulness. The safety of the jail staff and the defendants are paramount in the day to day operation of the jail.
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