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Q&A with Mineral County sheriff candidate Wayne Cashman

by MONTE TURNER
Mineral Independent | March 30, 2022 12:00 AM

On Aug. 3, 2020, Mike Toth took the oath to be sheriff of Mineral County. He was appointed by the county commissioners following the resignation of Sheriff Mike Boone.

For personal reasons, Toth decided not to run for the position, but two people that are already employed have registered for the primary and their names will be on the ballot in the Tuesday, June 7 election.

Undersheriff Wayne Cashman was hired by Toth within minutes of his own acceptance of his position. Sgt. Ryan Funke has been with the Mineral County Sheriff’s Office for over four years.

The following is a Q&A with Cashman. The Q&A with Funke published last week and is posted online at vp-mi.com

What have you done to improve the department since you became a member?

Cashman: Wow, that is a hard question to answer. We take a team approach to all that we do here, so to try and single out what I alone have done is a hard thing to answer. I Would have to say using my experience in corrections to get the Mineral County jail up and running again.

What kinds of situations would you call in other law enforcement agencies to assist with an arrest or an ongoing investigation? Specifically, which agencies would you be willing to coordinate with on a state or federal level and for what kinds of criminal activity?

Cashman: We have had many outside agencies assisting us over the past 16 months we have been here. At the county level, Missoula County and Flathead County have assisted us in a missing person case, assisted in a fugitive recovery operation, brought in their Swat Teams to assist along with Flathead County Sheriff SWAT. DCI (Department of Criminal Investigations) has assisted with murder a suicide case and found remains investigation. At the federal level Homeland Security form interdiction and human smuggling cases. We maintain working relationships with local, state and federal agencies to help protect the citizens of Mineral County.

What do you see as the immediate needs of the department, and how will accomplish them?

Cashman: We have overcome so many immediate needs in our time here at the Sheriff’s Office. Just about every system was at critical mass, from worn out vehicles to worn out equipment, so from my perspective I would have to say training. We have a good crew of people here and it is now time to help them broaden their careers and experience with enhanced training for all here at the Sheriff’s Office. We will utilize training offered by our sister agencies at little to no charge by pursuing grants and other alternative funding programs.

How will your department work with ancillary offices to promote transparency and vital communication?

Cashman: I Believe we have a good working relationship with all these offices now. We are all here to assist the citizens of the county so we strive to maintain good working relationships. Can they be strengthened? Yes of course, and my goal is to insure we strengthen and maintain strong working relationships with these entities to ensure transparency and security for our citizens.

What are your plans for community involvement and community partnerships?

Cashman: I would like to become more involved in the schools here in Mineral County by continuing the efforts to obtain funding for School Resource Officers and providing continued support for community programs in Superior , Alberton and St Regis, and all west end communities with programs such as block watch.

What is your plan to balance the jail occupancy between local, state and federal prisoners? And what will be done with the revenue from state and federal occupants?

Cashman: We developed a plan when we reopened the jail. We rekindled the relationship with the United States Marshall service that was lost after a couple escapes and the closings of the detention center. We currently have 12 federal inmates that brings in a substernal amount of revenue into the county. We have a 26-bed facility here and house federal, state and local inmates. The revenues come back in to the sheriff office budget to offset the operating costs of the detention center.

What additional proactive law enforcement policies will you put into place to curb the widespread and far-reaching drug related and human trafficking crimes?

Cashman: We will continue to grow and strengthen our relationship with our local drug task forces and with Homeland Security and Border Patrol in Operation Stone Garden. Since being in office we have been provided over $300,000 in overtime funds and equipment including two new patrol vehicles and other much needed equipment.

Why do your years of law enforcement and experience make you the best candidate to be the Sheriff of Mineral County?

Cashman: I have been fortunate enough to experience many years of training and leadership development classes and been provided great mentors to temper the training with real time commands. In my 26 years in law enforcement, two were spent learning at Montana State prison, five years at Arizona State Prison and the remainder as a Deputy, Sergeant, Lieutenant of an agency that was progressive and I experienced and helped remedy the problems of a rapidly growing population. At one point in my career, Pinal County was the fastest growing county in the nation. I was assigned to all 4 regions as a Region Commander encompassing 5,000 square miles and 400,000 residents which has exposed me with many, many problems, difficult situations and unique experiences I can draw on as needed to help lead Mineral County Sheriff Office.

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