Joe Overstreet

(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?
Over 40 years of experience, training, and education in leadership, administration and management positions. Please go to for more information.

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?
I have not been involved with the Sheriffs’ Office recently, so I can’t be sure how things are. However, there are several factors that can be used to measure morale. Job performance is one key indicator. Deputies who register a high rate of crimes solved show dedication to the job and, thus, high morale. Treatment of the citizens in a fair, unbiased way shows pride, confidence and teamwork, all critical factors for good morale. While turn-over rate could be a morale indicator, it is important to determine what position is vacated, the number of years in the position, background, education, pay level, etc. and, of course, the reason for leaving.

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?
The relationship depends upon the status and location of the agencies. Within the county, relations between the Sheriff’s Department and the Moscow Police Department should involve joint and combined actions, training and facilities as much as possible. Close interaction saves taxpayers’ money and provides efficiency in training and operations. Examples include: Joint Reserve Academy, Chaplain’s Program and, above all, a Combined Dispatch Center. I’ve known Chief Dan Weaver since our children were in the Northern Trail Riders 4-H Club together, more than twenty-five years ago. I would work closely with him in our common endeavors.

Relations with law enforcement agencies located outside the county should be based upon co-ordination and cooperation. Meetings should be held to discuss common missions such as: actions in case of major disasters, regional crime problems, and topics of current interest i.e. new techniques, equipment and training. I would be a member of the PACT and meet with surrounding agencies regularly to implement and update our interagency relationships.

4. Please compare the success of the Latah County Sheriff’s Department in solving crimes in comparison with other nearby jurisdictions.
During my tenure as Sheriff, the department raised the crime solve rate from average to the highest in the state. I do not know how the Department stands, currently, in relation to other nearby jurisdictions.

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?
As Sheriff, I will be accessible in every way including email, phone calls and an open-door office. We will use faxes to announce significant items of interest thru the mass media. The web site will be available to all and items of interest to the citizens will be posted there. More importantly, I will gather input from our citizens and employees by being out and about frequently and available to listen to their concerns.

6. Please include biographical information about yourself, email, phone, or website contact information, and any other message you want to share with county voters.
Please go to for more specific and complete information. My pledges to you are listed and I intend to carry them out, as I did before. I look forward to meeting with you and all of our fellow citizens. I value your input so please send me your comments, suggestions and questions. In the next two months, I will be trying to meet and get to know as many county residents as I can. I hope see you at the Latah County Fair; I have enjoyed being there every year for over a quarter century.

Please encourage everybody you know to vote. Currently, less than half do. Let us insure that the candidates elected actually represent all of the people eligible to vote.

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