County's drug problem a key issue in sheriff race




GREENFIELD — Both Republican candidates for sheriff point to drugs as the driving force behind crimes committed in Hancock County, but they are sharply divided on the best means of addressing the problem.

How each would combat the drug problem in Hancock County if elected has become a key issue in the race for the county’s top law enforcement seat.

Sheriff Mike Shepherd, who is running for his second term, says the department’s first priority needs to be maintaining sufficient manpower in the patrol division, which he considers the county’s first line of defense. Challenger Donnie Munden, a lieutenant and shift commander on the sheriff’s department, points to the need for a drug task force and is calling for a reallocation of resources.

The county’s last drug task force disbanded in 2010 after a brief run under former Sheriff Bud Gray, who took office in 2007. Task force operations were suspended indefinitely after the lead detective admitted to dipping into the drug-buy fund to pay personal expenses.

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