I attended the candidate forum at the Red Lion in Kalispell on April 26 and carefully listened to each candidate’s responses to the questions from the deputy’s office as well as the audience. One candidate stood out as the best person to guide Flathead County forward in the future: Calvin Beringer. Calvin’s extensive background shows a high degree of experience and qualifications the other candidates simply do not possess.
Flathead County is experiencing exponential growth similar to what other regions of our country have encountered. This growth will change our county’s demographics which will necessitate methods of law enforcement be transformed to get ahead of the S curve. Transformation requires vision, experience, and a strong work ethic. At the forum, Calvin spoke of the need to evaluate and assess the current condition of the sheriff’s office, then develop plans to implement updates for the 911 Center and jail. He expressed his goal to implement current and relevant training and education programs for law enforcement officers. He stated a desire to improve collaboration with local, statewide and federal law enforcement agencies including Border Patrol and DEA. Calvin further spelled out his intent to develop partnership programs with community volunteers and non-profit organizations to support joint law enforcement ventures rather than solicit funding though taxpayer funded levies and bonds.
Calvin has served over 30 years in both the military and law enforcement both in Flathead County and other regions across the country and around the world. His experience in western Washington with the King County sheriff’s office during exponential growth in that region combined with his leadership experience overseeing gang, narcotics, community policing, and court protection programs along with his oversight of mandatory training for over 800 sworn personnel has uniquely prepared him to serve as our next sheriff.
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