June 19, 2024

Letter to the Editor: Shutts will lead Jasper County in the present and future

I have been honored to serve as your Jasper County Sheriff for almost 12 years, and as a law enforcement officer in Jasper County for more than 37 years. In 2020, after being elected to my third term as Jasper County Sheriff, I made the decision to retire in December 2024. Due to my pending retirement, I fully endorse Lt. Brad Shutts, as our next Jasper County Sheriff.

First and foremost, Brad has the training and experience to continue to lead the Jasper County Sheriffs Office. Years of service, sacrifice, accepting challenges and being actively involved in the day-to-day operations of the Sheriffs Office are all qualifications that Brad has demonstrated.

Brad started his career early on as a dispatcher and reserve deputy. He was hired as a part-time deputy in 2002 and was promoted to Lt. in 2009.

During my first term as Sheriff in 2013, Brad was asked to take over the role of dispatch supervisor. Brad recognized an opportunity in implementing a significant upgrade to our communications system countywide. With my blessing he took the lead, trained, and educated himself on what system was needed, and leveraged funding and grant opportunities to create a county wide, county owned communications system that benefits all public safety agencies in Jasper County. This was a tremendous, multimillion dollar project that overall will save taxpayers money.

Any major budget decision, hiring decision, personnel issue, equipment upgrade and special projects and services decisions, were made by my executive team, of which Brad is a member.

A good leader surrounds himself with great people! Brad and the executive team have been instrumental in development of a Central Iowa Regional Tactical Team (CIRTT), Lynnville Sully School Resource Officer Program, Car/Body Camera implementation, Crisis Intervention Team, Mental Health and Wellness Program, Crisis Canine Teams, EMS and later Advance Life Support EMS service, contracted services with smaller communities, outdoor storm siren support, field training programs, and significant technology upgrades.

Early on as Sheriff, I included Brad and the executive team with the annual budgeting process, and our 5-year plan to provide the best services to our citizens. During that time Brad and the executive team have added full and/or part time positions to Deputies, Dispatch, and Jail Divisions. Safety and security of our team members are our priority, and Brad takes this responsibility as his primary focus.

When I ran for this position in 2012, trusted mentors told me to not change who I was or what I do. Brad has followed that same line of advice. He continues to work towards making the Jasper County Sheriffs Office a professional and honorable public service agency.

I have instilled in Brad that our priority is the nearly 70 full-time, part-time and volunteer team members that take care of our office and Jasper County every day. This includes arguing for pay and benefit equality, training, and equipment.

I had the opportunity to mentor and be mentored by Brad during my tenure at this office. Brad is a trusted friend and colleague that will continue to lead the Jasper County Sheriff’s Office in the present and future.

John R. Halferty, Sheriff