Commissioners interview sheriffs candidates, will deliberate Tuesday

Medford, Ore. — Jackson County residents are one step closer to having a sheriff. The county commissioners interviewed the remaining candidates Thursday morning, just days after a community panel did the same.

Only five of the original six candidates answered commissioners questions Thursday. Bob Sergi- a former sheriff’s office employee- took himself out of consideration before the day’s meeting started.

But unlike the community panel that made its recommendations in under an hour, the commissioners won’t be deliberating until next week.

“I think we have a lot to think about,” Jackson County Commissioner Rick Dyer says, “and a few more days until Tuesday is probably prudent anyway.”

The 3 commissioners interviewed the 5 remaining candidates Thursday. William Froehlich, a long time law enforcement officer from Utah, JCSO Deputy Ian Lance, Captain Dan Penland who manages the jail, Captain Nate Sickler who is currently serving as interim sheriff, and former sheriff Mike Winters.

“We’ve got a number of applicants that are demonstrating different perspectives,” Jackson County Commissioner Bob Strosser says.

“Each one of them brings such a different perspective and a strength,” Jackson County Commissioner Colleen Roberts adds.

“We’re blessed to have such a rich panel of candidates,” Dyer says,

Candidates answered questions about rural county coverage, the jail, managing relationships, and long and short term goals for the department if appointed. The commissioners say in addition to the panel’s recommendations, they’ve also fielded hundreds of emails and phone calls from citizens, and each and every inquiry holds weight.

“There’s a myriad of different perspectives and you have to try take them all into consideration and use your own principles and values to guide you,” Dyer says,

“Given every ounce of information to make the best decision,” Roberts adds.

Strosser says, “we need to see how that coincides as we put everything together.”

The commissioners decided to wait until Tuesday to deliberate so each candidate could return a self-disclosure background questionnaire. County counsel recommended they include it in the process.

They’ll meet to deliberate Tuesday at 9 am.


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