Many law enforcement agencies fail because their leaders forget their mission and place politics before public safety.
Therefore, we will create a culture that puts the people of Laramie County and our first responders before politics.
Before announcing his campaign for sheriff, Brian took time to learn about the issues most important to the community and the
employees of the sheriff’s office.
As a community, we will improve the culture within the sheriff’s office by focusing on these three (3) goals:
Click to expand each GOAL
GOAL #1. Reconnect with Laramie County residents and businesses, especially those in outlying areas of the County (click here to see the detailed action plan)
The residents in the outlying areas of the county believe they have been forgotten. In fact, there is deep rooted tension and distrust between several neighborhoods and the Sheriff’s Office. Residents and other first responder agencies are very concerned about the increased deputy response times. Therefore, our priority will be to reconnect with residents in the County and improve rural area coverage with the following action plan.
Sponsor Neighborhood Night Out events in county neighborhoods, so residents can meet the deputies and civilian employees who protect them.
Launch a citizen’s sheriff academy, where citizens learn about the agency.
The Sheriff and deputies will attend community events, such as Pine Bluffs Trail Days, Albin Day, Burns Day, and Cheyenne Day.
Improve customer service by assigning a person to answer the non-emergency number.
Reintroduce a reserve deputy program, which was eliminated last year. Citizen involvement is essential for accountable policing.
The Sheriff will open satellite offices throughout the county, so he is accessible to all, and he will patrol outlying communities. Deputies will be held accountable to patrol these areas.
Sheriff Kozak will attend municipal council meetings on a quarterly basis.
One public information officer (PIO) will be responsible for ensuring the agency is transparent and engaged with residents and the media.
The Sheriff will engage the community through various forms of social media. Brian was responsible for the PD's Facebook content, and he will ensure the sheriff's office social media platforms are just as transparent and relevant.
Sheriff Kozak and all command deputies will drive marked vehicles, wear a uniform, and regularly work in the jail and on patrol (not just day shift, but all shifts).
The Sheriff will rebuild relationships with Pine Bluffs Chief Walkama and Cheyenne Chief Francisco to collaborate resources, training, and criminal investigations.
The Sheriff will build relationships with the sheriffs of the surrounding counties in Nebraska, Colorado, and Wyoming.
Sheriff Kozak will acquire mutual aid agreements with law enforcement agencies adjacent to and within Laramie County to allow peace officers to respond to emergencies, no matter the jurisdiction.
A relevant staffing plan based on response time data will be developed to provide reasonable coverage throughout the 2,688 square miles of the County. Minimum safety staffing policies will be followed.
Increase detective staffing to allow patrol deputies to better patrol; increase detective training to improve investigations.
Conduct traffic enforcement on school bus routes, school zones, and where there are complaints from residents.
Publish an annual report outlining our performance as an agency.
Welcome and evaluate other recommendations made by our employees and the community.
Note: The Sheriff’s Office has had a very high employee turnover rate, causing continuous staffing difficulties. For us to be successful with Goal #1, we must place a priority on Goal #2, which is to invest in our employees.
GOAL #2. Invest in the employees of the sheriff’s office; they are the backbone of our success. (click here to see detailed action plan)
There is no more of a noble profession than being a first responder. We ask these men and women to put their lives on the line to protect our Constitution and agency mission. Before we can recruit qualified employees, we must first improve the morale and stop the high turnover rate. Therefore, we must put a higher priority on this goal, so we can achieve our other goals. When Brian was Chief, he was often requested by other agencies as a subject matter expert on how CPD was able to have one of the lowest turnover rates policing. If elected, Brian will put the employees first with the following action plan:
- Sheriff Kozak will work patrol, as he did when he was the Chief of Police. He and his command staff will not just workday shift, but all shifts, and in the jail. For leaders to be aware of working conditions, they must work with their teams.
- Select representatives from each area of the agency to form a Leadership Committee; the group will solicit employee suggestions to make the agency better. The Committee will report directly to the Sheriff to prevent filtering of ideas by the chain of command.
- Review the internal climate survey completed by the County to determine why sheriff employees rated their current leadership poorly and correct previous failures.
- Restructure the organization to ensure efficient use of employees and vehicles. Patrol, Detention and Court Security must be priority.
- We will create a culture that welcomes diversity and does not tolerate harassment of any type.
- Sheriff Kozak will personally train all employees on the culture that is expected and hold all (including command deputies) accountable to high standards based on the U. S. Constitution and modern policing principles.
- Launch an advanced training program and require all employees to attend, including the Sheriff and command deputies. Training will focus on best practice standards, such as, use of force, leadership accountability, and community policing.
- Publish command staff meeting minutes for all employees to review.
- Work with the County Commissioners to develop a step pay plan aligned with market value and designed to retain employees.
- Implement an assessment center for promotional testing with candidate scores published to remove the current perception of unfair promotions. Require advanced leadership training for supervisors.
- Implement modern human resource policies dealing with performance documentation and recognition.
- Implement a peer support team to ensure employee physical and mental wellness.
- Implement annual goals to continuously challenge our employees to do better while holding leadership accountable.
- Evaluate other recommendations made by our employees.
GOAL #3. Restructure detention services to assist the entire criminal justice system within our county while reducing recidivism. (click here to see detailed action plan)
The policy of the detention center not to intake property criminals and arrest warrants for property crime has caused our county to become a sanctuary for criminals, which is unacceptable. This policy has caused property crime to double in the City of Cheyenne. Burglary increased 86%, theft of vehicle parts increased 163%, and auto theft increased 89%. These are the worst crime increases in the history of our community. If elected, Sheriff Kozak will keep the jail open for our law enforcement officers to remove criminals from our streets. Our local taxpayers spent $16 million for increased capacity of the jail; it needs to be used for the benefit of our residents and the criminal justice system. The only exception is, Sheriff Kozak will not accept any federal gun charges passed after July 1, 2020, or any federal charges based on presidential executive order.
We will always accept criminals into the jail. However, we will implement drug and alcohol treatment programs to provide alternatives to long-term incarceration. If elected, Brian Kozak will implement the following action plan:
- The jail began to restrict misdemeanor and property crime bookings in March 2020. Deputies, troopers, and police officers had no method to remove criminals from our neighborhoods. When Brian was the Chief, he negotiated an agreement with Platte County Jail to accept bookings when Laramie County refused them. However, Platte County Jail is a much smaller jail and cannot accommodate the rapidly increasing number of local criminals who have multiple arrest warrants. Deputies and police officers are stopping multiple offenders, who have arrest warrants every day. Our deputies and officers are frustrated they cannot do anything. Crime has doubled because of the current jail policy. If elected, Sheriff Kozak will immediately OPEN THE JAIL!
- Form a committee to assess and negotiate with the U.S. Marshal Service to house federal inmates (except as listed above). The Contract could increase revenue by $2-3 million a year. The extra revenue would be used to develop a step pay plan for employees, hire additional employees, and reduce jail costs. Currently, federal inmates are housed in Nebraska, which adds difficulties for the federal criminal justice system in Cheyenne.
- Become compliant with the Prison Rape Elimination Act, which the jail has violated for many years.
- Allow federal agencies, including the VA Medical Center Police, to book offenders into the jail until they can be arraigned in Cheyenne Federal Court. Current policies require federal arrests to be booking into the Platte County Jail.
- Currently, the city must pay the county $110 a day (contracted to increase to $120 next year) to house inmates. This is double the average of other jails. We will find efficiencies within the system to lower the cost of detention. We will also create a fair billing system, so the city is not charged for incarceration when the inmate is being held on state charges, which the Sheriff is legally responsible for.
- Incentivize detention supervisors to become certified by the American Jail Association and other professional organizations to ensure we are following best practices.
- Form a committee to assess the implementation of a work release program. A work release facility was built within the current jail, but never used. This will allow those non-violent sentenced inmates who qualify for the program to work outside of the jail. Employment is a leading factor in preventing recidivism.
- Form a committee to assess a work detail program to assist our community with low cost and free sheriff inmate labor (nonviolent sentenced offenders only).
- Assist the Probation Department and Court to complete an Addiction Severity Indicator / Index (ASI) on offenders. We will use this information to begin in-house treatment. Apply for the many DOJ grants available for this service.
- Implement a more formal in-house drug and alcohol addiction treatment to reduce recidivism crimes associated with addiction. The goal is to reduce long-term incarceration; allow participants to finish treatment even if released from custody. We will seek grants, such as the Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) grant Brian Kozak embraced when he was chief; resources should be coordinated with this existing grant.
- Ensure all command staff are cross certified for detention because they will be required to work in the jail.
- Implement and manage the 24/7 Sobriety Program, which is designed to provide a highly monitored alternative to incarceration of repeat offenders for alcohol related crimes at a great savings to taxpayers. The program is proven to reduce recidivism by 65% after five years. Current sheriff leadership promised to implement the program (even budgeted for it) after it was approved by our State Legislature in 2014 but failed to complete. Sheriff Kozak will have peers from the recovery network manage the program and use the revenue for recovery; First-time offenders will not be eligible, unless the court believes it is in the best interest of the person to prevent incarceration.
- Assist the City with Operation Change to keep those suffering from addiction and mental health issues out of the jail. Have detention deputies complete a warm handoff of people released from custody to counselors in the LEAD program.
- Train detention staff to use the multimillion-dollar jail records management system the County purchased but has never used. The system, when properly used, will allow street officers/deputies to book offenders more efficiently, so they can get back to protecting our communities. The current process takes too long and is a waste of taxpayer money. Evaluate using a Tela-doc system to reduce transports to the hospital.
- Evaluate other recommendations made by our employees.
A special thank you to Sheriff Glick:
“I would like to personally thank Sheriff Glick for his 40 years of service to Laramie County. If elected sheriff, I will always honor Sheriff Glick’s legacy and promote the positive traditions of the Sheriff’s Office while striving to improve service to our community”