The Glasgow Courier - Serving Proudly As The Voice Of Valley County Since 1913

By A.J. Etherington
For The Courier 

Strommen Talks Priorities

 

February 14, 2018

LUKE STROMMEN

Strommen Talks Priorities

A.J. Etherington

FOR The Courier

Luke Strommen, the current Undersheriff and nine-year veteran of the Valley County Sheriff's Office, has filed to run for Valley County Sheriff in the Spring election. So far, he is running uncontested. Strommen sat down for an interview with the Courier last week to talk about his vision, priorities and motivations for seeking Valley County's top law enforcement post.

A native of the area Strommen's ties to the county run deep.. As a fourth-generation Vandalian, Strommen's family has a long history in the community. When asked why he was running, he responded, "This is my next level of service for the people of Valley County."

Asked about his intentions withing the department, Strommen commented, "If it's not broke, it doesn't need to be fixed," adding, "Verne's done an excellent job as Sheriff." Sheriff Buerkle intends on retiring after decades of service to Valley County.

The Sheriff hopeful has considered what he would like to change: "I would like to improve our transparency and accessibility to the community." When asked what that would look like he believes it would involve putting out more information to the county and keeping people up to date on who the deputies are and what they look like.

Pressed further, Strommen shared a bit of the personal: "I have an incredibly vested interest in keeping Valley County safe for my three girls, my family and my friends." Strommen added, "I still believe this is arguably the best place to raise a family."

"We can't prevent all crime and tragedy, but we can do our best to train for it, counter it, and stay on top of it," explained Strommen before adding that the office will also need to educate the public on how crime is evolving and changing moving forward into the future.

The candidate said his priorities going forward will likely involve Keystone XL Pipeline among other issues. "It is a legit concern for our community," said Strommen, regarding Keystone. He pointed out that the Sheriff's Office is already engaged in preparing for different scenarios involving an increased population.

Strommen highlighted keeping up officer presence and patrols as crucial to prevention and the gathering of information. Strommen favors preventing criminal activity over responding to it, or, as he put it, being reactive. He is certain he does not want the office to be predominantly reactive by responding to past or current criminal activity or emergencies, but to be active in preventing it, responding to it and limiting its affects.

Strommen's other priority is fighting the war on drugs. "You can't stop fighting the war on drugs," he said before adding, "almost all felony cases I have investigated over my career could probably draw a direct line to a drug culture."

Multiple times throughout the interview, Strommen emphasized Valley County's unique nature, and how much he values that sense of community and what it means for his family's future and for the future of those living here. "I want my children to have as much or more opportunity when they grow up as I did," stressed Strommen. He added later, "I think there is a responsibility for my generation to carry on the traditions of this community."

 

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