CEDAR RAPIDS — Sheriffs in eight counties representing over a third of Iowa’s population have endorsed Fred Hubbell for governor.
Both Linn County Sheriff Brian Gardner and Johnson County Sheriff Lonny Pulkrabek are among the eight who announced their support for the retired Des Moines businessman seeking the 2018 Democratic nomination.
Pulkrabek is the immediate past president of the Iowa State Sheriffs and Deputies Association. Gardner is a former president.
In backing Hubbell, the sheriffs cited his commitment to a smart public safety approach that includes investing in community-based mental health services.
Pulkrabek and Fitzgerald, former president of the National Sheriffs Association, previously announced their support for Hubbell when they joined him at the Johnson County Jail as part of this mental health tour.
“He is a leader who will address our mental health crisis in a smart and effective way,” Pulkrabek said. “We need a governor who will put our communities first, support us, and work with us, so we can thrive.”
The sheriffs’ association is advocating he creation of six or seven short-term regional facilities so sheriff’s departments would not have to travel more than 90 minutes to find beds for inmates who need substance abuse or mental health care.
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Hubbell is “someone who understands the importance of local communities and will put people in this state first again,” Gardner said. “Our goal is to help our local community prosper, and to do that we need a governor who respects and invests in the local services that our communities need to grow.”
On his mental health tour, Hubbell heard from patients, providers and law enforcement about the realities Iowans face from a lack of proper beds, community facilities and mental health professionals.
Following the tour, he released a plan that called for support of jail diversion programs and investing in community-based treatment that has proved to not only be cost effective, but also deliver the proper treatment.
The other sheriffs were Tony Thompson of Black Hawk County, Rick Lincoln of Clinton County, Thomas Kriegel of Poweshiek County, Paul Fitzgerald of Story County, Mike Johnstone of Des Moines County and Bill McCarthy of Polk County.
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