(candidate for 2004 Latah County Sheriff)
1. The Latah County Sheriff is responsible for the operation of the county’s largest office with 50 employees in enforcement and jail functions. What training and experience do you have to successfully manage this department, including the budget, risk management, human resources, and communications responsibilities?
I have had a career in law enforcement that has spanned nearly 20 years and
includes over 2000 hours of classroom training, specific to law enforcement.
(There is a link on my website detailing that training.) Through the
years, I have held positions as a Deputy, Detective, Sergeant and
Lieutenant. I was a member of the Search and Rescue and SWAT divisions in
several agencies in Arizona. I have responded to many Search and Rescue
recovery calls, including numerous aircraft crash investigations in remote
areas. I served as the Range Master for both the Patrol Division and the
SWAT Division at Mohave County. I relay this to let you know that I have
years of first-hand field experience.
While serving as a Lieutenant for Mohave County Sheriff's Office, I was the
SWAT commander, over-seeing many critical drug raids, barricaded entries and
warrant retrievals. On Christmas Eve of 1992, I was the Commander in charge
of quelling a riot in the jail. I had only minutes before the control pods
would be breached, allowing the inmates to literally control a population of
over 300 prisoners. Using all of the up-to-date training and the equipment
at our disposal, my team penetrated the barricaded doors, took 15 violent
inmates into custody and restored control of the jail to the Corrections
During my career, I have made hundreds of arrests of violent felons. I was
hand selected by the Flagstaff (AZ) Division of the FBI to assist their
office with the covert investigation of a suspected serial murderer. I was
the lead investigator in a homicide case, and assisted as investigator in
During my service as Lieutenant, I supervised two Patrol Districts, and the
Marine Division. Lake Havasu is one of the busiest lakes in the United
States. Patrol responsibilities were shared by many local, state and
federal agencies. Mohave County Sheriff's presence on the lake was
manifested by more watercraft than any other agency. Lake Mohave and Lake
Mead were also patrolled by Mohave County Sheriff's boats under my command.
As a District Commander, I participated in establishing the budget, and then
operated effectively within those guidelines. Sometimes, when budgets were
tight, I was forced to be creative in allocating necessary materials for the
operation of the Office. One year, with the Sheriff's blessing, I
approached the local steel mill, the railroad and the mines in donating
materials to complete a firearms range refurbishment, and an excellent range
was created for the use of area agencies and their SWAT personnel.
Risks can be minimized by two rather simple concepts: Training and
fairness. I assisted greatly in this process by becoming an instructor, and
by treating my subordinates fairly. I believe that someone selected for any
level of service within an agency should receive proper training prior to
being assigned tasks
Currently in Latah County, a recruit is sent to the basic academy for the
required amount of time, and then participates in the Field Training
program. Once this has been accomplished, training classes are few and far
between. I want to change that. Additionally supervisors should not be
selected and placed without any training for his or her new
responsibilities. These decisions affect everyone; subordinates, peers,
supervisors and the public. This principle applies to any level of
employee, and runs the gambit from malfeasance, misfeasance, prejudice,
bias, sexual harassment, etc.
Fairness is just as important as training. To be fair, policy and procedure
must be interpreted and enforced equally by those in charge. To put it
simply, "the stove has to be hot for all who touch it." Unequal treatment
and discipline affects all the employees, not just those who receive it.
Many people understand that to properly analyze a process or problem, there
are five steps in doing so. (1) The group assigned asks, "Is there a
problem?" (2) The problem is defined. (3) A solution is presented. (4)
The solution is implemented. (5) The group must then go back to step 1.
If this process is valid, no division, group or individual is exempted from
it. It is also appropriate that the process is assigned to a group, and not
left to an individual.
Employee A is determined to be a liability by Company 1. He is branded as a
troublemaker, and advised or encouraged to move on. Employee A is then
hired by Company 2. He becomes a great employee, and all are happy with
him. Ok, maybe Company 1 was correct. But when employees B, C, D, E, F, G.
follow the same path, a thinking man has to ask, "What's going on in Company
1?" This is a good time to question the management practices of Company 1.
Communication is one of the most essential skills necessary to be a
successful Sheriff. My experience has taught me it's far easier to talk
then it is to fight! In an arrest situation, when the violator quits
talking, the fight is just around the corner. When a Sheriff doesn't
communicate, communities are angry, citizens are frustrated, cases go
unsolved, morale plummets and nearby agencies go out-of-state for their
2. What is the level of employee morale now at the Latah County Sheriff’s Department? How is job satisfaction among departmental employees now measured and evaluated? What changes could be made to improve morale?
The morale at the Sheriff's Office is at an all-time low. A few employees
would deny this, yet I estimate that 75 to 80 percent of the employees there
support me. They would love to tell the voters this, but they know what
their future would be like if they breathed a word. Currently job
satisfaction at the Sheriff's Office is gauged by how often you express an
opinion not shared by the administration. If you say nothing and do nothing
to attract attention, you will be found to be a model employee. Presently,
it is a bad idea to come up with any new proposal that suggests something
outside of the current paradigm. In the past seven and one half years, over
60 employees have left the Sheriff's Office. This is over 100% turnover.
My solution to this problem is simple. People must be treated with dignity
and respect. Policy must be enforced fairly and equitably. The task is not
more important than the person performing it. The position of Sheriff is
not a status symbol or a divine calling. It is a public service position
created to serve the citizens of the County. A Sheriff must communicate
well with others. Communication has two facets. Talking and LISTENING. I
believe that ideas expressed by employees are not a threat to authority, but
a valuable contribution to the function of the department.
I believe it is detrimental to the agency to segregate and divide its
various divisions to such an extent that each operates separately from the
others. Detective case files are pass-coded, and cannot be accessed by the
patrol division, who are the eyes and ears of the agency. Dispatch acts
under a whole different set of rules and a separate chain of command. When
this interferes with a deputy's ability to do their job, the deputy cannot
address the problem with the dispatcher, but must report it to his or her
supervisor through the chain of command. If the supervisor is not
immediately available, the problem persists, and has no immediate solution
or remedy. In any productive organization, teamwork is an applied
principle, not a mantra that has no foundation in the actual status quo.
This must change. All sworn employees must share information regularly
within the agency and with other agencies in order to be more productive in
Endless "Internal Investigations" beat down any and all employees. Internal
investigations should be reserved for serious allegations of misconduct or
criminal behavior. They should not be used when allegations of a minor
nature are made. Most internal investigations are done by the detective
division. At times they have had to refuse working on a criminal case,
because they were tied up with investigating their fellow employees. I
believe serious complaints should be handled by an outside agency, and
complaints of a minor nature should be assigned to the employee's immediate
Most people who live in this county do so because they like it here, and
want to call it home. You might make more money elsewhere, but you like the
quality of life in Latah County. This is where you want to raise your
family. It's no different for the typical Sheriff's Office employee. Sure,
some of them want more money, and some want to live in the city, but many
have felt forced to leave, due to an inflexible, rigid administration.
3. What should be the relationship between the Latah County Sheriff’s Department and other nearby law enforcement agencies? What changes, if any, would you want to implement in interagency relations?
This two part question can be answered by my explanation of the second part.
I do not consider it productive for a Sheriff to constantly send e-mail
and letters to other agency heads in lieu of having face to face
conversations. Sure, there will always be disagreements, but every
communication doesn't have to be taken as a challenge of authority. It's no
secret that budgets will become increasingly tight. There is a huge
shortfall at the U of I, Wal-Mart may relocate to Washington, and on and on.
Those things that can be shared with other agencies need to be. In order
for this cooperation to take place, agency leadership must forge the way to
a new era of hospitality, not hostility. Under my administration, this will
4. Please compare the success of the Latah County Sheriff’s Department in solving crimes in comparison with other nearby jurisdictions.
The problem with statistics is they can always offer proof of whatever
theory the presenter favors. If there's a dramatic drop in DWI arrests, the
incumbent claims no one any longer drives while intoxicated in their
jurisdictional area. There is such a tough stance on DWI that drunk drivers
stop at the county line and call for a cab! A study performed in Kansas
City years ago showed that reported crime increased as more officers worked
the area. This was mostly due to the fact that more officers discovered
Latah County has many new officers. New officers are less likely to have
developed the degree of expertise of their veteran counterparts. However,
the staff members in this department are very dedicated. I believe that in
spite of all the obstacles they encounter, Latah County Sheriff's employees
are second to none in this county.
An area that is lacking, however, is that of aggressively dealing with the
increasing drug problem in this county. There has not been a full-time
narcotics officer since June of 2002. While a detective is assigned to
attend the meetings of the Quad-Cities Drug Task Force, an effective drug
interdiction program is not in place. The City of Moscow has a full-time
employee working with the task force but he is too busy to assume
responsibility for the county's ever increasing problem. Uniformed officers
are ineffective, due to their obvious visibility.
5. How do you plan to use email, websites, or any other communication tools to inform county residents about department programs or to gather input from those residents?
I value the opinions of the citizens of this county. One very effective
tool is a customer satisfaction survey. This form can easily be attached to
the Sheriff's Office website. For those without internet availability, this
form can be sent through the mail. The questions cover the entirety of the
customer experience, from dispatch contact through prosecution of the case.
Naturally, I am not as interested in the opinion of the arrested suspect who
just sent his wife to the hospital on a domestic violence investigation as I
am in that of the victim who just suffered a break-in.
I also intend to have a much closer and open relationship with the local
media. Public service announcements are very helpful tools in maintaining
public safety. Many crimes are solved through citizen witness reports. If
the citizen doesn't know the Sheriff's Office needs information, they may
not realize their knowledge is important to solving a case.
I plan to take a particular day of the week, maybe Fridays, and regularly
visit the out-lying communities. It's essential that a community gets to
know the officers that serve them, particularly their Sheriff. This is
another excellent way for the citizens to communicate to the Sheriff their
6. Please include biographical information about yourself, email, phone, or website contact information, and any other message you want to share with county voters.
BIOGRAPHY: In 1983, the copper mining industry in Arizona was suffering, and
I found myself among the crowd of laid-off miners. Interested in law
enforcement, I enrolled in an 8-month reserve academy evenings and weekends
serving as class president, while I worked maintenance during the days.
After graduating at the top of my class academically, I went to work for the
Cochise County Sheriff Department in rural southeastern Arizona, where my
wife and I had grown up. I worked as a deputy sheriff and served with the
Special Response Team that included both Search and Rescue and Tactical
In 1990, I moved my family to Tucson and went to work for the Tucson Police
Department but soon discovered that a city police force "beat" did not
provide the challenges and satisfaction that I had enjoyed in a Sheriff's
I accepted a position with the Mohave County Sheriff's Office and my family
relocated to Kingman, Arizona. The crime rate was very high, primarily due
to the extreme drug problem there. The Kingman Justice Court was the
busiest in the state and the Sheriff's Office' caseload at that time was
running above 47,000 calls for service annually.
I served as a deputy, a detective, a sergeant, and lieutenant, having
command over 2 districts and the marine division. The waterways included
45-mile long Lake Havasu, a well-know spring-break party destination. I
became a firearms instructor and then range master, overseeing the firearms
training. I worked with the FBI on a serial murder case on special
assignment and was given an award for valor, in the rescue attempt of three
little boys from a burning manufactured home.
In 1997, I and my wife felt the need to leave the high-crime, high stress of
Mohave County. Our two daughters were high school age, and we felt we would
all benefit with relocation to this area. I was hired by the Latah County
Sheriff's Office and we made our home here. (I would note that the previous
year Latah County's calls for service were running around 4,700!)
I served as a deputy, then detective, then sergeant. I was a firearms
instructor here as well. My experience and leadership earned the respect of
the men I served with.
I chose to run for sheriff, not because I have a need for power and control,
but because I saw a critical need for experience in leadership and
accountability to the citizens of our communities. There is a grave need
for communication and cooperation, not only with the residents, but with
other Latah County Offices and law enforcement agencies. As budgets grow
tighter, the only effective way to serve the citizens is to work together,
combining resources and sharing information wherever possible.
Having seen firsthand the destruction that drugs wreak in communities, I
want to bring my experience to the job to keep Latah County from becoming
like the Arizona communities I worked in that suffer increased burglaries,
domestic violence, assaults, robberies and homicides. I ask for your vote
in November, 2004 for Latah County Sheriff.
Finally, I want the residents of the City of Moscow to consider this. The
residents of the communities of Genesee, Juliaetta, Kendrick, Potlatch,
Onaway, Princeton, Harvard, Bovill, Helmer and Viola do not have a police
department to protect their lives and property as you do. They must rely
solely upon the Latah County Sheriff's Office for their service. As I went
to these communities and spoke with their mayors and city council members, I
was advised of the same thing time and time again. The residents of these
communities are not happy about the level of service they receive. They are
particularly unhappy about the drug problems that flourish in their
neighborhoods. This is not a problem that reflects upon the enforcement
members of the Office, but rather, a problem with the philosophy of the man
in charge. Because Moscow has a larger population than these communities
combined, the result of an election is in your hands. Ask yourselves, "How
would I vote if I were in their shoes?"
My email is email@example.com
My home phone is (208) 882-3765
My website is rauschforsheriff.com