Q&A with York County Sheriff candidates: Richard Keuerleber

Staff report

Two candidates will appear on the ballot in the Nov. 5 election for York County sheriff.

Incumbent Republican Richard Keuerleber is taking on his former deputy Shane Becker.

Keuerleber narrowly defeated Becker in the GOP primary last May, garnering 52% of the vote. But Becker ran a successful write-in campaign for the Democratic nomination and will appear as a Democrat in November.

As part of The York Dispatch's ongoing election coverage, we posed five questions to the candidates. Below are Keuerleber's responses.

York County Sheriff Rich Keuerleber campaigned outside his polling location on primary election day at Dover Township Community Center in Dover Township on May 21, 2019.
(Dawn J. Sagert photo)

Richard Keuerleber: Republican.

Age: 59 years.

Family: Wife Kristi, married 38 years, daughter and son.

Occupation: York County sheriff.

Education: I have Act 114 of 2014 Deputy Sheriff and Sheriff’s training; earned Deputy Sheriff’s certification from Dickinson’s School of Law; Sheriff’s Vehicle Code training from Indiana University School of Pennsylvania; Defensive Tactics  from Millersville University; continued education updates from Millersville University; State and Local Court Security from U.S. Marshal Service and training from U.S. Department of Justice Community Relations Service.

Community involvement: Served as president of Dover Area Recreation Board; served on youth baseball and basketball boards and coached Dover Youth baseball and basketball; Masonic organizations.

Question: How would you describe morale at the York County Sheriff’s Office and what would you do to improve it if needed?

Answer: Unfortunately morale is uneasy and does suffer during election years because it puts everyone in a difficult and unsettling position. When the uncertainty is resolved the morale will improve.

Question: The sheriff’s office provides security at the York County Judicial Center and other county government buildings. Recently, the adequacy of that security was questioned by the county commissioners and a county judge. Was that criticism fair, and if so what should be done to improve security?

Answer: I am always open to suggestions to improve enhancements and modifications to our current security procedures when it comes to protecting employees and the general public who occupy these buildings. Additionally, I respect the concerns presented by the county commissioners and Common Pleas judges, however I feel it could have been conveyed in a different manner. While I am not at liberty to discuss our security procedures, several proactive modifications have already been implemented to ensure the safety and security of everyone.

Question: Please list three ways to improve efficiency at the sheriff’s office for the good of the staff and taxpayers.

Answer: Complete the implementation of our new Central Booking Records Management System, which will increase information sharing and improve efficiency for our staff and numerous law enforcement agencies who utilize our services. This initiative will increase officer safety and enable local law enforcement agencies to return to their communities in a more timely fashion, thus benefiting the taxpayers by helping to keep York County citizens safe.

I will continue to place significant emphasis on technology to meet the increasing demands of services, enabling the office to work efficiently and effectively and, as a result, being fiscally conservative to the taxpayers.

I will provide additional resources and assistance to all county court-related offices and the Court of Common Pleas, enabling our office to serve warrants in a more efficient and aggressive manner, holding all defendants accountable for their court costs and fines.

Question: Moving forward, how would you avoid allegations of conflicts of interests and political favoritism?

Answer: Unfortunately during an election year it is hard to totally avoid these allegations, especially when they are politically motivated. However, there is always room for improvement, and I intend to move forward by making ethical decisions and continue to focus on my official duties as sheriff of York County.

Question: Why are you the better choice for sheriff than your challenger?

Answer: I have served as sheriff since 2008, 12 years as assistant chief and six years as deputy sheriff. I have a staff of 114 sworn deputies and nine civilian staff and managed a budget of $6 million and increased revenues the last 11 years in office, contributing to York County general fund and reducing tax increases for York County residents. I have the qualifications, experience and dedication to serve as your sheriff another term. I am endorsed by the York County Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 73 and the York County Chiefs of Police Association.

More:Keuerleber seeks fourth term as York County sheriff