(COUNCIL BLUFFS) Pottawattamie County Sheriff Jeff Danker is up for re-election this year. Danker has been with the Sheriff’s Office for 35 years and at the end of this year it will mark his 20th year as Sheriff of Pottawattamie County.
Danker said one of the biggest things he had to deal with when he took office was the overcrowded jail located on the top floor of the courthouse. The jail was a 43 bed facility and a lot of times it was running at twice its capacity. Danker said they formed an advisory committee to explore options and then the people of Pottawattamie County voted to pass a bond issue to help build a new 288 bed jail, which opened in 1999.
“We received $2,000,000 in cooperative agreement funds to reserve beds for the U.S. Marshall’s Service that assisted with the jail being built” said Danker. “Within just the last 10 years we have brought in over $24,000,000 of funds from housing prisoners from other law enforcement agencies.”
Danker said there have been a number of changes over the years, including the Communications Center; which the Sheriff’s Office took over in 2007, the County implemented an 800 megahertz radio system that is used by all public safety in the County, and over the years they have also beefed up road patrol and the investigations division.
Danker said one of his goals, which they are currently working on, is getting the schools into utilizing the 800 megahertz radio system.
“Right now Tri-Center has been testing these radios; they have been very pleased with them. It’s going to come down probably to cost, but I think all the school systems in Pottawattamie County are on board; they’d like to be able to utilize this. We’ve got the capacity on there and I think it would be a real good asset for the school systems to be able to utilize that,” said Danker.
Danker says another issue that needs to be addressed is beefing up security at the courthouse.
Danker graduated from UNO with a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice. He started out working in the Pottawattamie County Jail and then worked as a road patrol deputy, a narcotic investigator and supervised criminal investigations for four years. Danker (Republican) is being challenged by Republican John Hitchcock in the June 5th Primary.
Danker’s message to voters, “We’ve got right at about 197 employee’s, we’ve got a multi-million dollar budget and I would just say; look at the qualifications, look at the experience and I would appreciate their vote on the 5th of June.”
More information on Jeff Danker can be found at www.jeffdankerforsheriff.com.