Q&A: Kent County Sheriff candidates address issues

Name: Jason Mollohan

Party: Republican

Office Sought: Kent County Sheriff

Age: 43

Occupation: Retired New Castle County Police/current Kent County Sheriff

Family: Wife Melissa and son Jacob

Elective Experience: Current Kent County Sheriff

Name: Brian E. Lewis

Party: Democrat

Office Sought: Kent County Sheriff

Age: 51

Occupation: Delaware Department of Correction instructor; prior police officer with the Metropolitan Police Dept. Washington, D.C.

Family: Married with two daughters and honored to have the extended family of both the men and women who I work with at the DOC and other law enforcement agencies.

Elective experience: Current Dover City Councilman (2015 – Present); served on the Capital School Board of Education (2011 –2015) with one year as Vice President; served on Dover Human Relations Commission (2008 – 2010)

Why are you running for this office?

JM: I am running for this office because I believe the Sheriff’s office and the citizens of Kent County deserve someone who is truly dedicated to providing the best service and cares about the people. I have been the Kent County Sheriff for the past four years and I have dedicated my time and attention to the operations of the office full-time.

BL: This may be an easy question for some, but for me it is the most important question of all. First of all, I want to make a difference in Kent County. Kent County is a place I call home. To me, home is a place where you feel safe and accepted. Home is a community that cares for one another and what happens there and to the people. As your sheriff, I promise that I will ensure the Sheriff’s department and the community will have the strongest working relationship possible. I will make sure taxpayer dollars are used effectively and efficiently within the Sheriff’s Dept. I have been preparing for this challenge for a while now and I not only believe, but know, that I will have a positive impact for the residents in Kent County.

What about your background qualifies you for this office?

Jason Mollohan

JM: I am currently the Kent County Sheriff. During my four-year term, I have worked hard to understand how the office operates and made it my mission to take an active role in the daily operations. I enjoy answering the calls that come into the office and working the front desk so that I can have one-on-one conversations with the public. I continue to work closely with the attorneys, legislators, courts and, most importantly, the citizens to make sure they are receiving the best service. I have always had an open-door policy and made sure I am accessible to everyone. I will always strive to ensure the office and my staff provides each person we come in contact with the highest quality assistance and service.

BL: I have devoted my entire adult life to public and community service and have a proven track record to include being a law enforcement officer and Dover City Councilman. Both positions have provided me with a great opportunity to meet and make a difference in the lives of individuals and families from all walks of life in the City of Dover and across Delaware. I am the everyday guy who has worked hard to help make a difference within my community. I am a firm believer in standing up for the everyday people of our community and will continue to do so as Sheriff. I am in my 13th year with the Delaware Department of Correction, currently serving as an instructor for cadets at the Employee Development Center and provide refresher training for existing staff. I began my career as a correctional officer and advanced through the ranks of Cpl., Sgt. to instructor. As a former New Jersey Superior Court Investigator and Metropolitan Police Officer in Washington, D.C., I believe all my positions have given me the experience and knowledge of judicial procedures and ability to serve as Sheriff.

What would be your top priority if elected?

JM: My top priority will be to continue to ensure my office and I provide the best service to the citizens of Kent County with both technology and personal care.

Brian Lewis

BL: As a community-oriented leader, my goals for the Sheriff’s office would be to proactively inform and educate the Kent County citizens of the processes and procedures related to Sheriff sales, foreclosures, civil fees, subpoenas, levies and other legal notices. I would build better communication relationships with the people I serve and the judiciary of Kent County. I’d bring more diversity into the department to effectively serve all members of our population in Kent County.

If you could change one county policy or law, what would it be?

JM: After serving four years as Sheriff, I have noticed there are many laws and policies governing the operations of the office and to narrow it down to just one would not do it justice. When I was first elected, I successfully updated the Kent County Sheriff’s office policies that were outdated. Since then, I have met with legislators to look at various laws that are antiquated. I believe the most important of those laws would be the “squatter” law. I would like to find a way to eliminate this problem that seems to be growing.

BL: Although I am familiar with the county policies and laws, I would take the opportunity to review and evaluate those that have the most impact on our community. I would rely on our community to express their concerns on what policies and laws directly have effected them both on a positive level and look for solutions for those which have a negative impact and why.

What are the biggest issues presently facing this office?

JM: I believe one of the top issues is the balancing act between executing the court orders and keeping the public happy with the services we are providing. Also, as I stated before, the outdated laws that plague the duties of the office. I am, and will continue to be, committed to bringing the best service to the citizens of Kent County. I will continue to work with attorneys and legislators with changing laws that directly and indirectly affect not only the Sheriff’s office, but our citizens in our county and state. Since I have been in office, I have also worked hard to ensure my staff and I provide quality service and I will continue to look for new ways to make the office run more effectively and efficiently.

BL: The challenges facing the office of Sheriff are much the same as those that face all agencies: the need to be fiscally responsible and maintain a strong and productive workforce, which will always be demanding due to the constantly changing political, judicial and community needs. I believe effective communication and teamwork must play a vital role in the future of the department. The adage: “a chain is only as strong as its weakest link” could not be more appropriate for the Sheriff’s office in our county and across the nation. What I hear and have witnessed firsthand is the need for more community interaction. As a community-oriented leader, my goal would be to enhance the policies and procedures related to Sheriff sales, foreclosures, civil fees, subpoenas, levies and other legal actions the Sheriff’s office is currently performing.

What opportunities exist to make this office more efficient or effective?

JM: Did not answer.

BL: There is always room for improvement in any departmental operation. I have learned over the years that unless the system is completely off-tracking, it is in the best interest of all concerned to approach the operation with an open mind. I would encourage staff to share the rationale of how and why things are done certain ways. I am, and have always been, a firm believer in expanding education for members of our community. Better technology and communication devices are an issue I currently believe needs enhancing within the department. I would enhance technology to improve customer service and streamline office practices, increase training for employees and would look to improve the equipment available to all the deputies to keep them safe. Most importantly, I’d let the citizens of Kent County know how much the Sheriff does and be proactive in bringing the business of the Sheriff to the people.


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