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Candidates for Elkhart County sheriff debate ahead of election

NOW: Candidates for Elkhart County sheriff debate ahead of election

ELKHART, Ind. — Republican candidates for Elkhart County sheriff went head to head for the first time.

ABC 57 News is hosting several debates along with the League of Women’s Voters, IUSB’s Political Science Club and the American Democracy Project and the second one took place Wednesday IUSB’s Elkhart Center.

Crime— especially in the city of Elkhart— was a major talking point for the candidates.

It ranked the third least safe city in Indiana in a report this year from the National Council for Home Safety and Security.

A record, the next sheriff wants to address.

All three candidates are long-term members of the sheriff's department.

They include Investigator Fred Mock with 35 years of experience, Captain John Perry with 30 years of experience and Captain Jeff Siegel with 26 years of experience.

Voters in attendance hope that wealth of experience will help curb crime.

“Crime is always an issue and I think with police departments not being fully staffed are a reason for that,” said voter Kevin Miller.

Recruitment was another hot topic for those who showed up to the debate, especially when it came to diversity and inclusion.

“If they can get the women to do the ridealongs and to get to the jails and visit with the inmates and visit with the employees, that’s going to be important,” said voter Kris Miller.

The next sheriff will also have a say in programming at the jail and quite few voters want to see more being done in the county’s criminal justice system.

“We need to do something other than just house criminals, we need to do something to rehabilitate them in some way,” said Kevin.

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