Payson resident Kim Jeffrey Pound officially became a candidate for Gila County Sheriff last week.
Pound is a lieutenant with the Salt River Police Department, overseeing its Professional Standards Bureau. He has more than 20 years experience in law enforcement and has commanded all three divisions of the SRPD, leading the Field Operations Division and the Criminal Investigations Division before moving into his current position.
"I'm running on a platform of cooperation with all law enforcement agencies of the county," Pound said.
"I want to be the chief law enforcement coordinator in the county, not the chief law enforcement agent. The municipalities in Gila County that have their own police departments have hired their chiefs of police because of the knowledge and experience they bring to the community. They don't need the sheriff stepping on their toes. They do need the sheriff to coordinate them and work together in problem solving which will help eliminate criminal activity in all jurisdictions of Gila County," Pound said.
He said as sheriff he will work with the board of supervisors to raise salaries for deputies and improve benefits.
"The Gila County Sheriff's Department should not be a training ground for other agencies," Pound said. "A young deputy who is hired should feel and believe he can retire with the sheriff's department and not have to apply to other law enforcement agencies that have higher salaries."
He said his motto for the GCSO work force will be "Hire here, retire here."
"When we hire career deputies, they will provide better service to the community because they are vested in the community," Pound said.
Two important issues for Pound are: the creation of a policy on the parameters of every job in the GCSO; and dealing with the jail.
"I want to write a policy and procedures manual that meets Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies standards," Pound said. "This will let everyone, from the sheriff on down, know what the parameters are for their jobs. My jail and staff will follow the guidelines of the National Institute of Corrections, and all the mandates of the state and federal courts will be followed."
Pound makes his home in Payson with his wife, Stacia, and their daughter, Ireland.
His wife's grandparents Glennis and Don Stephenson have lived in Star Valley more than 32 years and have been in business in Payson. The Stephensons built the first shopping center in Payson.
"When elected sheriff, I look forward to serving the citizens of Gila County and providing them with the highest level of service," Pound said.
"We will be moving in a new direction of law enforcement service, committed to community policing and dedicated to integrity, professionalism and service. Let's pass on the torch together."