By Angie Baldelomar
This is Ken Badsky’s 32nd year as Decatur County sheriff, and now at 56, he says he has no plans to retire. He is running for re-election in the Aug. 2 elections.
Mr. Badsky, a Republican who was born and raised in Oberlin, said he got a criminal justice degree at Garden City Community College. He worked for the Oberlin Police Department for three years before becoming sheriff.
One of the biggest challenges he has faced in his time as a sheriff, he said, involves budget adjustment, serious crimes and manpower needs. Another big challenge is the ability to adapt to the constant changes in the law and the change to multimedia and digital media.
“It’s easier to get scammed now,” he said. “It’s easier for cyber crimes to occur.”
Regarding the number of officers the county has, Mr. Badsky said he knows the department would benefit from having more officers, but the budget won’t allow it.
“It’d be nice to have more people,” he said, “but without the budget, we can’t.”
One of the big issues, he said, is the communication from the public to law enforcement. Many times, he said, people do not report what happens.
“People think we know what’s going on, so they don’t tell us about it,” he said, “but we really don’t know.”
For Mr. Badsky, the main job of a county sheriff is set by state law, which includes supervising the jail and providing security for the courts.
“Following the Constitution is very important to me,” he said.
He added that, for him, being available to the public is essential. He said he has no problem in giving out his phone number and encouraging people to call him.
“I enjoy what I’m doing,” he said. “I love this job and I want to continue doing it.”
This story was published on page 3A (County Primary) on The Oberlin Herald‘s print edition on July 13, 2016.