Klamath County Republicans

Klamath County
Republican Party

Name: Chris Kaber

Position:  Klamath County Sheriff

2016 Candidate Survey

1.  How long have you lived in Klamath County?

“45” years. I moved here with family in 5th grade and left for “2” years when first hired by the Oregon State Police.

2.  What is your law enforcement background?  “26” years with the Oregon State Police. During those years I was a Patrol Trooper, Resident Trooper in Rocky Point, Nationally Certified Crash Reconstructionist, Patrol Sergeant, Criminal Division Sergeant, Supervisor of both the Klamath County Interagency Narcotics Team and Major Crime Team, Interim OSP Area Commander, Supervisor on OSP Mobile Response Team, Regional Polygraph Examiner, and occasionally conducted or assisted in internal investigations.
3.  What specific qualification or experience makes you a better choice than the other candidates? 

You won’t have to wonder if I have the regional and local experience to lead the Sheriff’s Office. I have been working with other local agencies in management positions for more than “20” years. I’ve gained the trust and respect of other agencies and this will be the needed component to revitalize these working relationships for the benefit of all county residents. There are currently many great employees at the Sheriff’s Office and I am positive they will catch the professional vision and take pride in their agency and the work they do protecting our citizens. 

4. How many deputies do you believe are required to fully service our community? 

Most of the deputies are currently assigned to corrections and it is my understanding their numbers need to be slightly increased to reduce mandatory overtime requirements, and the fatigue that comes with working excessive hours. As for patrol and the number of deputies assigned to investigations, the Sheriff’s Office is woefully understaffed. We currently have “13” deputies assigned to patrol and this needs to be doubled. This forum is too short to go into all of the factors leading to this situation…however the funds to properly hire, train, and equip the numbers actually needed are simply not available; and until they are Klamath County takes a serious liability risk and can’t adequately provide needed service.  

5. How would they be distributed (jail, patrol, crimes, etc...)?  Distribution will remain similar to what it is now. The operational needs of both Corrections, Patrol, and the Civil Division are mandated services and must be in place…even if understaffed.
6. From 2000 to 2016 the population of Klamath County has increased less than 5%.  From 2010 to today, there has been no population increase.  The requirement for deputies seems to have increased at a disproportionate rate.  Why do you think this is?  

I do not believe the requirement has changed at all. There has always been a need for an adequate number of deputies per 1,000 residents to properly serve the needs of the community. I remember when there were many more deputies assigned as residents in Chiloquin, Chemult, and in the East County. What has changed is actually a decrease in the number of deputies. Additionally, in the ‘90s, Klamath County benefited from the Oregon State Police having more than “25” troopers assigned to Klamath County and their mission at the time permitted them to do the job the deputies do now. The OSP mission has changed and they will only handle criminal calls under specific circumstances and so that benefit is lost….and is being covered by the Sheriff’s Office with less deputies. And this answer doesn’t even consider the vast distances between calls for service. We need more deputies…not less. 

7. Do you believe the ever increasing costs of union salaries and benefits are sustainable?  Explain your answer. 

Yes. Negotiated contracts are here to stay and benefit both employees and employers. Despite the feelings that the retirement systems are out of control, revisions have been made over the past decade with tiered systems for newly hired employees that are more sustainable. 

8. Do you believe you can fully service our community under the current budget?  Explain your answer.

No. The current budget allows for a minimum level of service. If a minimum level of service is acceptable then the current budget suffices. Full service is what citizens should be looking for and this will require additional funding….and this is the truth regardless of who is elected as the next Sheriff.

9. Are there any budget items would you remove?  If so, which ones?  

Careful consideration needs to be taken to reduce programs or operations currently being undertaken by the Sheriff’s Office which can’t be done efficiently or is out of balance with acceptable liability. Since I have not been able to meet with the employees working and leading in some of these areas, I will need to reserve any decisions until I have been provided all the facts…and this can’t be done unless I am elected. It would be irresponsible of me to guess what needs improvement or elimination without observing firsthand.

10. Are there any new budget items would you add?  If so, which ones? 

Two areas are of concern for me which effect the budget….but reduce liability (sometimes very expensive liability.) These areas are training and equipment. I believe it is unethical to hire deputies and ask them to perform their job properly if they haven’t been afforded proper and continued training and if they are improperly equipped. I will not hire any more deputies until I can assure they will be trained properly (increasing professionalism) and equipped adequately (reducing liability) and this will likely be an increase in budgetary requests.

11. In your opinion, what are the top three issues the sheriff's office needs to deal with? 

Restore Trust in working relationships with other agencies and citizens. Any other issue is meaningless to discuss unless trust is restored first. There is a current and very real lack of trust towards the Sheriff’s Office Administration which needs repair.

12. What is your plan to address these issues? 

Answered under #3. 

13. Do you agree with Oregon’s Conceal Carry law – and would you ever agree to publish the list of permit holders? 

Oregon’s current concealed carry law is acceptable to me…mainly because there are exceptions for those actively hunting or fishing. I advocate for as many law abiding citizens as possible to get and maintain this permit…and then carry concealed. And there is now way I would ever agree to make public a list of permit holders.   

14. Recently SB941 (a new gun law) was passed.  What is your understanding of this law and how will you apply it?

As Sheriff, I would enforce the law. However, I will not permit any deputy to spend time investigating this useless attempt at registering firearms. If someone commits a crime with a firearm and happens to also have not transferred the firearm properly, they’ll be charged with the additional crime. This is most likely to occur with felons using firearms illegally already and not with law abiding citizens who happen to enjoy their 2nd Amendment rights. 

15. What is your opinion of the Malheur protestors and how the situation was handled?

I believe Sheriff Dave Ward did his job well. As Sheriff, he is charged with protecting his community…and he did.

16. What do you think of the situation that Grant County Sheriff (Glenn Palmer) finds himself in? 

You got me on this one….No Comment.

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