Mike Taylor of Adel has filed his candidacy to run against incumbent Lake County Sheriff Phil McDonald in this year’s May 20 primary election.
Taylor is a law enforcement veteran, having retired from the Tacoma Police Department in Washington state following 33 years of service. He and his wife moved to Adel in 2009, to work on his wife’s family’s ranch, Grieners Quarter Circle JR Ranch, Inc.
Taylor said his interest in running for sheriff primarily stems from a desire to serve the public.
Though initially warned his ‘outsider’ status as a relative newcomer to Lake County might be a hindrance, Taylor said his experience has suggested otherwise, feeling more than welcomed by the Lake County community.
“(Law enforcement) is pretty much what I’ve done all my adult life,” he said. “Law enforcement is what I do best, and its’ a way for me to give back to a community that’s given so much to me.”
Taylor cited a number of goals he’s developed, should he be elected into the office.
Two of the top items include develop a cohesive working relationship with the deputies’ union and also foster increased trust from the Lake County community.
“Your professional conduct is at the forefront of any (agency),” Taylor said.
Taylor also cited an interest in developing a communities-based policing strategy, which would integrate a cooperative approach by deputies and law enforcement in resolving identified community issues.
Individual resolutions are key for communities with varied issues, he said, and he also would life to develop a program tailored to safeguarding children while in school.
The idea would be to have visits by deputies in the local schools at least twice a week, affording interaction with the teachers as well as students and administrators in fostering positive relationships.
“If you build trust in the community, you build eyes and ears in the community,” he said. “There’s no reason in the world a child should ever be afraid of a police officer.”
A multiagency task force that would combat grow operations and meth labs is another concept Taylor supports.
This idea would integrate working with other law enforcement agencies with counties bordering Lake County (Deschutes, Harney and Klamath County Sheriff’s Department, along with Oregon State Police work sites).
The focus would be putting a stranglehold on drugs at their points of origin, versus an emphasis on traffic stops alone, Taylor said.
Well aware of the drug issues within the community – primarily marijuana and methamphetamine – Taylor said that he’s supportive of the use of a confidential informant for tracking down local drug activity.
Normally, in exchange for providing confidential and reliable information on drug sources, such an informant will earn a reduced sentence.
Following the informant’s details, follow-up surveillance activities would confirm the information provided.
“It could be very positive, depending on how many grow ops or labs there are,” Taylor said. “This is just a vision.”
Other public safety issues pervading the county include domestic violence and sex crimes, Taylor said.
Overall, Taylor said that courtesy, respect and professionalism are all qualities the public expects from its local law enforcement agencies.
“I would demand these of all my employees under my supervision or leadership,” he said.