Candidate Profiles: George Kynett (D) And Jesse Slaughter (D) Cascade County Sheriff

Editor’s note: This is another in our series of profiles for local Cascade County candidates. Each county office candidate was given the opportunity to submit, in their own words, a brief profile outlining why they’re running, what party they represent and why they are the best candidate for the position. 

Here are the Sheriff profiles. Democrat and incumbent Bob Edwards and Republican Bob Rosipal are the other candidates for Cascade County Sheriff and did not respond to our request for a profile.

George Kynett

My family and I live and work in this community and I couldn’t imagine a better place to live. But, we do have some issues in Cascade County and I’m ready to take on those challenges as sheriff because I want to make our community a nicer, safer place to live. I want to ensure the youngest to the oldest of our citizens are protected. I also want to create a better work environment for all our Sheriff’s Department employees, so that those who are protecting our community are being taken care of themselves. I will use any resources available to the department to protect the people in and around the county.

With more than 28 years in law enforcement experience, I have good understanding of how the Sheriff’s Department works. I’ve spent time as a reserve deputy, detention officer, court bailiff, civil process server, in private security and inmate transfer. I also have experience with adult and veteran treatment court, drug/alcohol monitoring, and currently work as a pre-release officer.

I’ve also spent over 20 years in the civilian sector as a warehouse supervisor, gaining experience in budgets, management, scheduling, training and workplace safety. Skills that will no doubt be extremely useful if elected Sheriff.

It’s also through all these experiences that I’ve been able to see where we have challenges and where we can make improvements. Our jail is overcrowded and we have issues with drug addiction. We need to ensure we’re attracting and retaining qualified, motivated employees. We must have a budget that works toward the protection of the community and the Sheriff’s Department. We need to make sure we’re reaching those smaller outlying communities in the county. There are no quick-fix solutions for these problems, but I have many ideas that I’d like to implement that I hope overtime will help with the issues.

Some things I’d like to see include reinvigorating the Reserve and Explorer programs. Additionally we should tap into our volunteers throughout the county such as search and rescue, medical quick response units, and volunteer fire departments to get help to individuals in rural areas quicker. Basically, the more deputies and volunteers that we can integrate into the county the safer and better protected our community will be.

Two of my biggest concerns for our community are safety for our citizens and combating drug and alcohol addiction. I feel this falls in line with the beliefs of many Democrats – to take care of each other and ensure the health and safety of all citizens. I’d also like to see better paying jobs available and more affordable healthcare. Healthcare is a big area of concern for county employees, especially those with families where the cost is extremely high.

Jesse Slaughter
I am a public servant at heart and I care deeply for the people of this community. For 18 years I’ve had a very successful career serving the people of Montana. I started as a civilian coroner, then a sworn deputy/coroner. I spent a decade protecting the residents of Great Falls as a police officer and Master Police Officer before I was appointed to my current position as a GFPD Detective, specializing in protecting children. I am a law enforcement officer certified by the Montana Public Safety Officer Standards and Training (POST) Council, and I carry the POST supervisory certificate.

My values are strong, my integrity is intact, and I’m not afraid to make hard decisions. I will bring a fresh perspective to the Office. I am ready to lead by example, and be a Sheriff the people of Cascade County will be proud to put their trust in.

A Sheriff should not be influenced by, or beholden to, a political agenda. As a sworn officer it is my honor and duty to uphold the US and Montana constitutions, and to protect and serve all citizens equally. The Democrat party enthusiastically embraced my candidacy.

I have the experience, knowledge, and leadership to provide greater service to the residents and business owners of Cascade County. My father was the Sheriff of Gallatin County and it has long been my dream to be the Sheriff of Cascade County.

– As Sheriff, one of my top priorities will be the safety of our children. I am an investigator on the Montana Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and, as an Active Shooter Response Instructor, I have been in our schools teaching officers and faculty how to handle threats. As the lead law enforcement officer for Cascade County I will work closely with students, parents, and faculty to introduce a comprehensive affordable approach to increasing the safety of our schools.

– County residents need to see deputies frequently. I will bring back the Resident Deputy Program, giving rural communities greater access to law enforcement.

– Right away, I will host the first Citizen’s Academy of the Sheriff’s Office.

– I will recruit volunteers to lend support and offset financial burdens.

– I will implement a program involving the Office in the Veterans and Drug Treatment Courts. These courts mandate and provide treatment, support, and mentoring, and have proven to be very effective with addiction and mental health concerns.

– The Office oversees the county’s only adult detention facility. The men and women who staff this facility are vital to our community. I will ensure they receive ongoing and advanced training and are compensated and treated fairly.

– I will implement a wellness program to aid employees with physical, mental, and emotional health, including critical incident protocols.

– I will break the cycle of legacy promotions by introducing fair, consistent, and transparent promotion processes, starting with the appointment of the Undersheriff.

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