I am taking the time to write this letter to the editor so Jackson County residents can hear about the true and honest person that Steve Schroeder is without the bias, lies, bashing, twisted words, edited content, etc. that we see and read so much of these days. I am Scott Heiar, a pure Jackson County resident, born and raised.
I graduated Bellevue High School in 2006. I attended the University of Dubuque and graduated in 2010 with my Bachelor of Arts Degree in Criminal Justice. I was hired by the City of Preston as a part-time Officer in 2010 and attended the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy in 2011. During this time, I also worked for the Clinton County Sheriff’s Office as a correctional officer in the jail for over two and a half years, during which time I met some amazing people and grew close working relationships with them. I was hired full-time through the City of Preston in 2015 and was awarded the position of Chief of Police. I was also hired by the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office in 2015 as a part-time Deputy.
This letter is based off of the three sides of law enforcement that I have worked, starting as a County Jailer, then local Chief of Police, and finally now as a County Deputy. I will be the first one to tell you I have made some mistakes over the years as I developed into the Officer I am today, but just like you, I am human, and I have learned from them. This is one thing that Steve told me as I was in my first year as an Officer with Preston. Steve took the time out of his work schedule to help form me as a young rookie Officer who he didn’t owe anything to. I still have the notes and templates that Steve gave me back in 2011 which confused me because I did not ask for them, Steve just knew that I would eventually get to the point in my career where I would be confident and aggressive and need them.
I never gave it much thought at the time, but that was just a way Steve was watching out for me and guiding me to be successful. Steve never once told anyone or bragged about how he took time to help this little guy out. I was a new young Preston cop that was going to save the world. Steve looked past my young and arrogant new cop attitude to help mold me into an Officer that has a job to do, but yet understand not everyone you meet, deal with, talk to, or arrest is a bad person. Steve brought me back down to a level playing field when he told me “Just like you Scott, the people you interact with have bad days and make mistakes, its not up to you to judge them, but to be fair and true to your career. You did not pick this career to ruin lives, but to save them, and at the end of the day you have a job to do and will have a family to provide for, so you better do your job well and treat people the way you would want to be treated if you were in their shoes.”
I have noticed over the years I worked in Preston, that the bond between agencies has grown closer together, not just Jackson County, but surrounding counties as well. I have made new connections over the years and have introduced contacts to Departments. Working in Preston as the new Chief I reached out to Clinton County for multiple collaborations and questions. When I was hired with Jackson County, they introduced me to several contacts within the surrounding agencies and some were throughout the State. The communication between departments and
agencies is the best it has been in years. We can reach out for help or resources when needed and we also help them when asked. We are honestly one big family when it comes to Law Enforcement! We’re here to help each other serve and protect our communities the best we can.
I take my career seriously and hold myself as an Officer to a high standard. This is a direct result of Steve’s influence. As a young boy I would see Steve drive past in his Sheriffs car, always waving to the kids with a smile on his face, and it was at that point I knew I wanted to be just like him. I can also tell you Steve and I have butted heads a few times and agreed to disagree on a few topics, but Steve never once broke his role as being a professional icon to the community.
Steve has always been calm and collected with me, even when I was worked up or mad about something. I recently asked Steve how he can handle reading fake news, dishonest online posts, and the bashing about him and the Sheriffs Office. Steve looked me in the eyes and said, “There are a few things the people of Jackson County don’t like during an election: bashing or bad mouthing of the opponents, liars, and criticizing of an Office that has served the people of Jackson County very well for over 50 years with very few complaints. At the end of the day, Jackson County voters are well educated and can see past all of the deceptions.”
I have lived in Jackson County my whole life, besides when I was in college, and have been a Law Enforcement Officer in Jackson county since 2010. I have worked as a Jailer, Cop, Chief, and Deputy, so I have a good idea of operations. I am telling you directly and with no doubt, that the Sheriff’s Office is NOT broken, corrupt, deceitful, incompetent, and so on like another negative campaign likes to say it is.
Is there room for some changes? Of course! Every Office could and should make changes when needed, and I feel when Steve gets elected Sheriff, he will make the changes he feels suitable. Steve has devoted thirty plus years working for the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office! His knowledge alone is too much to pass up. I feel if anyone knows what is best for Law Enforcement in this County, it is Steve Schroeder. Whether you vote by mail, go to the courthouse ahead of time, or vote on election day, I hope you will join me in voting for Steve Schroeder for Jackson County Sheriff.
Preston Iowa Chief of Police
Jackson County Sheriff’s Deputy