Deputy seeking Sheriff's office
Editor's note: All candidates seeking office in Clay County are invited to submit their campaign announcements, to be published in The Brazil Times in their own words.
These announcements will be published in the order received through April 25, one week before the May 2 primary and school board election.
All candidates are also invited to attend the candidates' forum at 6 p.m. April 26 at the 4-H Fairgrounds.
Candidates will be given two minutes to speak plus the audience will have the opportunity to address written questions to the school board candidates (6-8 p.m.) and to the Democrat primary sheriffs candidates (8-9 p.m.)
The public is encouraged to attend.
My name is Rob Gambill and I'm writing today to announce my decision to seek the Democratic nomination in the 2006 Sheriff's election in Clay County. In September of 2006 I will complete my 17th year of service with the Clay County Sheriff's Department. I began with the Department in September of 1989 as a Jail Officer and worked my way up from there to the position of Deputy Sheriff on Jan. 1, 1992, and was then promoted to Patrol Sergeant in 1997 and in October of 2004 I was assigned the position of Detective Sergeant. My wife, Melissa, is currently the Chief 911 Dispatcher for the Sheriff's Department and has been with the department since 1990. We have spent the majority of our adult lives serving the citizens of Clay County. Melissa and I currently live in Posey Township with our children Jayme, Darci, Hunter and Carli.
The Clay County Sheriff's Department will face many challenges in the future and I believe my experience as a Jail Officer, Deputy, Sergeant/Supervisor, Training Officer, and Detective with the Clay County Sheriff's Department will serve me well as your next Sheriff. One of the greatest challenges is going to be operating the new jail. As your Sheriff I will do everything possible to protect our investment in the jail and to save tax dollars whenever possible. I will review the budget and any unnecessary expenses will be done away with. We will provide the inmates with the legally required items and they will be responsible for paying for everything else they need. Any inmate who damages our new jail will face new criminal charges for the destruction and I will ensure that every step possible is taken to make them pay for the repairs. I will make sure that the jail is kept clean by making the inmates clean their living areas on a daily basis; those inmates who refuse to perform the work will be charged with a rule violation which can result in a longer stay in jail. I will personally inspect the jail and any problems will be dealt with immediately. I have served as a Jail Officer and I know how a jail should run and I will make sure it is run properly. I will also make sure that all of the Jail Officers are properly trained; this will result in fewer lawsuits and a savings to the tax payers. I am a certified law enforcement instructor and have already provided instruction to our current Jail Officers and I will continue providing proper instruction to them as your Sheriff.
Another challenge facing the Clay County Sheriff's Department is the methamphetamine epidemic. I will attack this problem head-on with proactive rather than reactive law enforcement. Drug abuse is a direct cause of much of the crime that occurs in Clay County and the problem can not be ignored. In the fall of 2004 I approached the former Sheriff and asked for and received permission to leave my patrol duties to begin drug investigations. One of the first investigations I began resulted in the dismantling of a large scale methamphetamine ring responsible for distributing hundreds of pounds of methamphetamine in Indiana and Kentucky. The scope of the investigation became so large that the Drug Enforcement Administration became involved with the case and numerous arrests were made in Clay, Vigo, and Putnam counties in Indiana as well as jurisdictions in Kentucky. Large quantities of methamphetamine were also seized along with vehicles used in connection with drug dealing and thousands of dollars in cash. I have also been involved in investigations that have resulted in other local drug dealers being arrested and ran out of neighborhoods and away from the places our children go to learn and play.
The assets that are seized from these drug dealers are then used by law enforcement to continue the war on drugs which puts less of a burden of tax payers. I have received a great deal of training in drug investigations and have experience working both federal and state level drug cases. During the course of these investigations I have built up a great working relationship with members of numerous state, local and federal organizations, and at one point was federally deputized to work with the Drug Enforcement Administration. As your Sheriff I will put my training and experience to good use by ensuring that fighting the war on methamphetamine becomes a top priority for all of our officers.
Arresting the drug dealers is only the first step in the process of ridding our county of the problem. Most of the people arrested on drug offenses will be returned to the community and without some sort of counseling they will return to their old ways when they return home. As your Sheriff I will ensure that the offenders who are willing to make a change in their lives are able to receive drug treatment while in jail.
Outside of work I'm involved with many activities. I am currently serving my second term as the President of the Posey Township Fire board. I also serve as an advisor for the Clay Centennial Demolay which is a fraternal organization for young men ages 12-21. Additionally, I am the chairman of Centennial 541's CHIPS program. The CHIPS (Child Identification Program) is a program that offers, free of charge, a valuable aid in the identification of lost or abducted children. Each child who participates in the program is weighed, measured, fingerprinted and a video CD of the child is taken, the parents are also given swabs that are used to obtain DNA samples from the children. For the last several years I have also served as the Clay County Sheriff's Department representative to the Clay County Fire Chief's Association. My family and I attend Church services at the Family Worship Center in Brazil.
During my time with the Clay County Sheriff's De-partment I have received hundreds of hours of law enforcement training including: Indiana Law En-forcement Academy's (ILEA) Jail Officer course, ILEA Basic course, ILEA Instructor Development, Defensive Tactics Instructor Certification course, Undercover Drug Investigator's course, Drug Interdiction course, Clandestine Methamphetamine Lab training, Strategies and Tactics of Patrol Stops Instructor training, Indiana University's Breath Test for Intoxication course, Basic S.W.A.T./Tactical Operations training, and the Top Gun Drug Investigators training. In addition to the above courses I have also attended classes dealing with Sudden Infant Death syndrome, hazardous materials incidents, domestic violence, blood borne pathogens, drug identification, drug field testing, firearms/marksmanship, traffic investigations, field sobriety testing, vehicle crash investigation, sobriety check points, law enforcement management, response to an active shooter training, crime scene management, heavy equipment theft, racial diversity, impact weapon use, defensive tactics, national incident management, photography, asset forfeiture and many others.
In 1996, I was certified by the Indiana Law Enforcement Training Board as a law enforcement instructor, and in 1998 I received further certification as a Defensive Tactics Instructor. I have instructed hundreds of law enforcement officers in numerous law enforcement related subjects. Most of the Law Enforcement Officers that have begun working for agencies in Clay County in the last several years have attended courses that I have instructed in order to begin their law enforcement careers. I have also instructed officers from departments outside of Clay County as well as having been a guest instructor at the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy.
I appreciate all of the support I have received from the community on my decision to run for office and I also appreciate you taking time to read this article. Anybody wishing to find out more about my campaign can do so by checking my Web site: