Meet the candidates in heated race for sheriff

Republican candidates for sheriff Dave Heath and Richard Barry exchanged words in front of a News 18's camera on the night of Wednesday, April 2, 2014. (WLFI Photo)
Republican candidates for sheriff Dave Heath and Richard Barry exchanged words in front of a News 18's camera on the night of Wednesday, April 2, 2014. (WLFI Photo)

TIPPECANOE CO., Ind. (WLFI) – Over the last week was have seen the race for Tippecanoe County Sheriff heat up. Republicans Barry Richard and Dave Heath got into an argument in front of News 18’s rolling camera about their stances on substations.

It’s something they have different ideas about, but there is more that makes these two different.

Heath spent 21 years with the Tippecanoe County Sheriff’s Office, including eight as sheriff. He spent two terms as Lafayette mayor and is currently the county’s Community Corrections executive director.

He says after support from family and county officials he decided to try to win another term as sheriff.

“I enjoyed being sheriff more than any job I have ever had,” Heath said. “It’s an outstanding career, and it’s an outstanding department.”

Heath’s opponent Barry Richard also has experience backing him up.

He spent 34 years on the Lafayette Police Department and ran the department’s D.A.R.E program. He is currently the executive director of the Lyn Treece Boys and Girls Club of Lafayette.

“The drugs, the gangs, the information I have, the knowledge, the training — would be best put at use working with the entire county instead of just the local city department,” Richard said.

Many people are talking about substations after Heath and Richard got into an argument about the topic in front our News 18 camera last week.

Richard said if he becomes sheriff he wants to implement substations, or areas in the county where deputies can complete their daily work, and hopefully have a crime-stopping presence at the same time.

“Your ideal situation would be to take your highest volume of crime areas and call areas, and put in an office space for deputies to come to be a deterrent against crime,” said Richard.

Heath does not feel that way. He says substations take deputies off the streets where they need to be.

“Our people do no have the time to be sitting somewhere. They need to be moving. With 466 square miles, it’s hard to tell where that next call is going to come from,” said Heath.

Both Richard and Heath hope their own personal experiences can appeal to voters.

Heath said he is familiar with working with a wide range of budgets because of his different leadership positions.

Richard said he has worked with different social agencies earning experience on how to successfully run a program.

Early voting has already started. The primary election is May 6.

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