Batesville Herald Tribune, Batesville, Indiana

April 22, 2014

Three Republicans set sights on sheriff's office

Diane Raver The Herald-Tribune
The Batesville Herald-Tribune

---- — Three Republicans, are competing for Ripley County sheriff.

They come from a variety of backgrounds, but all want to do their part to make the county safer for its citizens.

Rob Bradley says, “My motivation for wanting to be sheriff has been a part of my career goal I set some time ago. With my current 13 years of service at the sheriff’s office, I could round off my career at 21 years if I serve eight years as sheriff. I then may have other political aspirations for county government.”

Jeff Cumberworth notes, “I feel I can bring the Ripley County Sheriff’s Office new leadership and take the department in a different direction, offering new visions and ideas with the current employees, while working together to achieve positive results.”

Joseph Mann wants the position “so that I can offer the people of Ripely County the type of quality law enforcement they deserve.”

Each candidate has key issues to tackle if elected. Mann’s “main focus will be on the drug problem that we have in and around Ripley County. This is something that cannot be ignored. Other issues will be response times and making sure we have enough deputies on duty at all times to take care of the various tasks that the RCSO has to tackle of a daily basis.”

Bradley would work on “aggressive illegal drug enforcement, manpower issues in the department, relations with other county office holders, more programs for offenders in jail and drug education for kids in school.”

Cumberworth reports, “I would rebuild a working relationship with all elected officials in a positive and professional manner, start a Safe School program ... (and) implement a revenue recovery program. This would reimburse the county for costs of property damage from crashes.”

All three have extensive experience with police work. Cumberworth is a Safe School, emergency vehicle driving and Lidar, radar and Vascar instructor; field training officer; and has had commercial motor vehicle, crash investigation, firearms, first aid, defensive tactics and criminal investigation training. “As a trooper, I have been involved in numerous situations from fatal crashes, death investigations, domestic violence, drug arrests, traffic enforcement and natural disaster situations to presidential escorts.”

In addition to spending 10 years in the military, Bradley has served under four different sheriffs. “I have been involved in some capacity with law enforcement since leaving the military in 1992.”

Mann, who has been with the Versailles Police Department since 2003 and town marshal/chief since 2006, notes, “I am responsible for and in charge of the other deputies .... as well as the police department budget, equipment and vehicle purchases, maintenance and anything else that may arise.” He has training in many areas, including drug identification, driving while intoxicated detection, standard field sobriety tests, patrol stops, interviews, interrogations and child abuse investigations. He is a certified K-9 handler and firearms and swift assisted victim extraction system instructor.

Each officer seeker has his own policing philosophy. Bradley’s is “to serve the community in a manner that is committed to excellence through integrity, compassion, fairness and service.”

Cumberworth maintains, “I will continue with the many normal duties of the sheriff’s department while focusing on the problem areas with special enforcement, working with all local and state authorities in a joint effort to use available resources to reduce problem areas by using undercover investigation, drug interdiction and K-9 enforcement.”

Mann reports his is “that of a pro-active nature instead of a reactive one, to work with individuals and groups of citizens to identify and resolve issues which affect the livability in Ripley County as a whole. This also consists of working well with other law enforcement entities in and around the county so that we can all work together in addressing the area problems.”

The three individuals also have ideas for new programs they would like to add. Mann hopes to institute a county K-9 program. “I was a K-9 officer in Versailles for several years, and I know firsthand the positive impact that program will have on the drug problem in our county. I currently have a school resource officer in place at the South Ripley schools and Southeastern Career Center. This was achieved by working cooperatively with these schools to obtain grant and local funding .... It has made a positive impact on these schools. That program and others like it have my full support, and, if elected sheriff, I would be available to assist other schools in this endeavor.”

Bradley reveals, “I would like to refurbish the work release for lesser offenders. Our reserve deputy program needs to be expanded – filling current positions – and I would like a drug awareness program for area schools.”

Cumberworth wants to “work with the judicial system on implementing an alternative sentencing program where the courts have the option to offer other types of sentencing instead of incarceration. Not all cases will qualify for this, but the cases that do would bring in revenue for the county instead of the county paying out for incarcerations.”

Diane Raver can be contacted at diane.raver@batesvilleheraldtribune.com or 812-934-4343, Ext. 114.

Rob Bradley Political party: Republican Education: 1987 Jac-Cen-Del High School graduate, Indiana Law Enforcement Academy graduate Career: U.S. Air Force veteran, Indiana Army National Guard, Osgood town marshal, Ripley County Jail jailer and trainer, reserve sheriff's deputy, full-time sheriff's deputy since 2001, chief deputy since February Residence: Napoleon Family: Wife Angie, six children