Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

February 22, 2014

Snyder enters race for sheriff

By Brent Brown Daily News
Greensburg Daily News

---- — GREENSBURG – Decatur County Sheriff’s Deputy Steve Snyder has officially announced his candidacy for Decatur County Sheriff following his filing earlier this month.

Snyder is the lone Republican candidate on the ticket and will challenge current Sheriff Greg Allen, a Democrat, who is seeking re-election for a second term this November.

Snyder believes his law enforcement experience combined with a keen business acumen obtained through years of work in the real estate market make him uniquely qualified for the duties of Decatur County Sheriff.

“I bring a background of not only law enforcement, but also business experience. That’s important when running a department,” Snyder told the Daily News this week.

And the business of running the Decatur County Sheriff’s Department is no small task, one that includes leading a team of 16 deputies and the staff of the Decatur County Jail.

Snyder would certainly know.

The son of former Sheriff Larry Snyder grew up ensconced in the life of a police officer. Becoming a police officer was all Steve Snyder ever wanted to do, and being elected Sheriff of the county in which he lives and serves has been a goal since long before he put on the brown uniform his father once wore.

In spite of Snyder’s family history with the Sheriff’s Department, the veteran deputy is firmly focusing his campaign on the future of the county he’s called home his entire life.

The candidate sees departmental transparency and an increase in the visibility of law enforcement, particularly in rural areas, as two major tenants of his campaign.

“As a sheriff, making yourself available to all the people in the community and making sure the citizens know what we’re doing is very important,” Snyder said.

By that same token, it’s equally important that local law enforcement is just as aware of what Decatur County residents are doing, especially in the case of those who break the law.

Snyder cites substance abuse as the major factor behind most of the recent crime in Decatur County.

“The drug problem [in Decatur County] is the underlying element behind all the other crimes – burglaries, thefts, etc.,” Snyder said. “Pretty much everything leads back to that.”

The candidate added that he would like to see his department increase pressure on substance-abuse related crimes by adding a full-time narcotics investigation division to the DCSD.

“I’d like to have the Sheriff’s Department have more involvement in the county’s drug busts and investigations,” Snyder said.

The candidate mentioned his goal of better collaboration among all emergency agencies in the county as one of his top priorities should he be elected this fall.

“I want to build strong relationships with other emergency agencies within the county, including the volunteer fire services, EMS, marshals departments and DCS,” Snyder mentioned.

That collaborative effort, Snyder explained, extends also to community members. Snyder said the residents of Decatur County will always be an invaluable source in aiding police investigations.

“The citizens that bring us information to solve more crimes are witnesses, and we count on them for that information,” Snyder said. He added that those community “eyes” and “ears” can feel comfortable in talking with local authorities about their concerns.

“As sheriff, I want them [the general public] to know that they can come to us at any time,” Snyder said. “I’ll not only listen to what they’re saying, but let them know we’ll do something about it.”

Snyder said the reaction to his announcement has been well-received thus far. He’s added a Facebook page as well as a website at stevesnyderforsheriff.com. The support has been welcome for the Republican candidate.

“It feels pretty good to have people come up to me almost on a daily basis,” Snyder told the Daily News this week. “Even before I announced, some people asked if I was going to run [for sheriff]. I wouldn’t run without having a lot of support behind me.”

Snyder’s father is one of those supporters.

“He’s enjoying helping with the campaign and he does have some good tips with campaign strategies since he has so much experience,” the younger Snyder said of the elder.

Steve Snyder said the core of the job his father once held, and the one he now seeks, is the same in spite of myriad other changes in the community over the years.

“Of course things have changed since then,” Snyder reflected. “But the duties of the Sheriff’s Department have stayed the same. It just involves more people now.”

Snyder said his accessibility, should he be elected, is something else that won’t change.

“As sheriff, my door will always be open, any time of day.”

Contact: Brent Brown 812-663-3111 x7056; brent.brown@greensburgdailynews.com