Tom Hansen Article
Welcome to this June 2 edition of the Richard Urban Show. We present news and views from God’s point of view. We’re very happy to have Tom Hansen on. He’s running as a Republican for sheriff here in Jefferson County. So please introduce yourself.
“I’m Tom Hansen. I am a Republican candidate for nominee for sheriff of Jefferson County, I’m the only candidate running for sheriff with 20 years of law enforcement experience, specifically in Jefferson County, specifically with the Jefferson County sheriff’s office,” Hansen said.
Richard: So what are the three main things you would like to accomplish? What made you decide to run for sheriff? What are you looking to bring to the department? You mentioned your experience but what would be your other plans?
“Well sir, one of the things I noticed is the moral of the department has gone down very badly. I want to re-instill this morale. I also want to re-instill the faith in the sheriff’s office for the citizens. I talked to some yesterday, they say, ‘we never see the police’. And I want to change that. I want them to be seen. I want them be heard and I want them be noticed and I want them to know that the sheriff’s office in Jefferson County, the largest police agency in the county, is there to protect them,” Hansen responded.
“I also want to try to get more manpower for the department, administrative and sworn. When I came on the department in 1995, I was unit 50, the sheriff was unit 40, they were nine other deputies because unit 40 wasn’t there that were on the streets and when I went to work on midnight shift, sometimes at 2 o’clock in the morning I was the only police around in the county. So I know what it’s like to be short of manpower, so I want to try to increase that and make sure that changes,” Hansen added.
“I want to make sure that the communications with the sheriff’s office is open to the public, that people can come talk to me and know that they can really share with us as and we’ll be responsive to their needs, their requirements or their wants,” Hansen said.
Richard: You mentioned having more presence of the department. Well, how do you see that? Do you feel there needs to be a lot more staffing or budget or I guess those kind of changes? Would it depend a lot on getting the budget or can you work with the budget that’s ready there? Do you want to comment on that?
“Right now because of the corona virus or pandemic, whatever you wanna call it, and I’m quite sure it’s going to be a shortage of fiscal availability because the county hasn’t gotten any casino money in 70 plus 80 days now, and they haven’t got it. They’re just now starting to get hotel occupancy taxes again, so it’s going to be tough for a while, but I’m quite sure that there are other ways obtain money,” Hansen said.
Richard: How much more staff do you think is needed?
AUDIO”The department of Justice says, there should be one man minimum for every 1500 residents. The Census Bureau says we have right now about 59,000 people. I think it’s a little over-60 because we do have transient population. People who work at the race track in the barns area. People at the University. They’re not residents here, but they live here, and so I’m quite sure it’s over 60,000 people in the county so that means we should have 45 deputies. Right now we have approximately 35. So at least another 10,” Hansen said.
Richard: Okay, do you know what percentage of the budget goes toward the tax department? -because that’s a major function of the sheriff’s office. Right? Collect property taxes.
“Yes sir. The budget itself, I can’t say exactly how much does go there. I used to be able to answer because I used to help write their budget. But the major amount of the county’s budget from the sheriff’s office goes to the law enforcement side. But the chief deputy [unclear audio] will have a great working relationship with that I’ve known for years, is able to keep everything on track, is able to keep everything on track. As far as exactly how much they get now I couldn’t tell you. I’ve been retired for five years. But, believe me The tax office is a very important part of the sheriff’s office and myself and the chief tax deputy will be working at hand-in-hand to make sure everything’s working fine there,” Hansen responded. H.
Richard: I know you mentioned you’re a strong supporter of second amendment rights. if there are so-called “Red Flag” laws, which I know we don’t anticipate here in West Virginia, or that kind of thing, but it’s come up obviously in Virginia, would you enforce those kind of edicts, or not enforce them if they’re not like constitutional?
“Well, let me explain something to you. Mr. Urban, I’m also retired military between my military career and my law enforcement career, I have taken my oath to uphold the Constitution probably about 15 times. The constitution is very important to me and anything that’s unconstitutional, or close to being unconstitutional, I would not have my men enforce. If there’s adjudication, if the individual has been deemed a threat and has been adjudicated in front of a court, not just a hearing in front of a judge that somebody swears he’s violent or whatever, we’ll enforce that. If it’s been adjudicated in front of the courts. ” Hansen said.
“To give you an example, a law enforcement officer was involved in an incident, and had to take deadly force on a subject. The mother went into court and lied, saying she was a member of his family, and felt as though he was a threat because he had guns and it wasn’t only because the sheriff of that county went, I know this man and this is wrong, and I don’t know who this person is, but the judge had already signed the paperwork. That’s unconstitutional to take his second amendment rights away for things like that,” Hansen added.
Richard: To change the topic a little bit related with the current COVID-19 situation, with many different executive orders from the governor and some of them we see come down to our county. I’ve noticed like even kind of crazy stuff, like I noticed the park’s closed and there’s no park benches, in Moulten Park. What I’m trying to say is, so those kind of orders, like theoretically, I suppose like I went to Molten Park on Memorial Day and there were many people there. I suppose, if the officers want to take it to extreme, they could arrest someone, you know. ‘Hey, why are you in the park? It’s closed’. What about orders like that, would you enforce those kind of things?
“Can I make observation? It’s the same thing with the mail in ballot. Okay, we can go to Walmart, we can go to Costco in Frederick or Winchester, or we can go to Sam’s Club in Hagerstown or Frederick. We can go to any story on the area with a mask on, but we can’t go to a park, we can’t go to the courts and have a ballot. Because they felt as though they’re afraid. But he’ll go to Walmart, right? Ridiculous”, Hansen said.
Richard: So I think you mentioned on your website, of course you’re concerned as well about the opioid situation – the whole situation. Do you have any specific ideas about that, like what you could do maybe that’s different or that’s not being done or in general?
“Jefferson County is not an island. We’re not an oasis. We are surrounded. And most of our opioids come from Maryland, Baltimore to be specific. What I want to do is I want to point and sit down with the sheriffs of Loudon and Clark in Washington and Frederick and Berkeley County, either all together or, separately, trying to get a meeting with all of them and set up in the liaison system, where if, say, Loudon County sheriff’s office is doing a checkpoint on the county state line on 340, then we’ll do one up on Route 9, coming into Route 9, so that we try to work with and also do the same thing.” Hansen said.
Richard: Training, I think, you mentioned about training a little earlier. So with the training officers, we see a lot of stuff happening around the country now with the unrest and rioting stuff and it seems like that officer in Minneapolis was known for not being a very good officer, the one who’s accused of murdering like George Floyd. My question simply is, training, do you have any comment about training – the importance. Do you have any comment on it?
“First of all, let me explain. So, unfortunately when we hire police we have to hire from the human race, Hiring police officers take sometimes up to two years. There is a written test, there’s a physical agility test, there is a polygraph test and there’s psychology valuation, the psychological test is a psychological interview. There’s a background investigation. There’s a medical evaluation. There’s academy training, and then there’s six months of field training officer training where they’re riding around with a seasoned officer. And during those times, we do our best to try to weed out bad ones. Something that pops up, ‘this isn’t good’, and let’s stop him right here. But sometimes they slip through the cracks.
Richard: So we are coming towards the close here, I know you’re running against Steve Harris on the Republican ticket. So why would the voters choose you versus Mr. Harris? How would you really differentiate yourself?
“Well, I know the Jefferson County sheriff’s office, I know the citizens of Jefferson County. I’ve been here for 25 years and I’ve been associated in law enforcement for 20 of those years, here in Jefferson County. And there are a lot of people here that know me. I was the school resource officer Jefferson high school from 99 to 2000…. And so I’m known in the county, but I know the workings of all the departments in the sheriff’s office. The animal control, the tax office and the sheriff’s Law Enforcement Division. I know them, I know how it works and I know West Virginia law. I know about chapter seven, which is the hiring, firing and disciplining of a deputy and I know how it works. And no one is better fitted for the sheriff’s office than me. So that’s pretty much what I want to say,” Hansen said.
Richard: Any other closing thoughts?
“Well, I’d like to say this. I have been endorsed by Patrick Morrisey. My campaign is endorsed by Patrick Morrisey, the chief law enforcement officer of this state. If that doesn’t tell you who’s the best candidate nothing does. And I’ve also been endorsed by the Tea Party and We the People of West Virginia. And that tells you that I’m conservative. So I think those two points, right there would tell you that I’m the best candidate,” Hansen concluded.