Vote Tony Harris for Sheriff!

4.5/5 - (8 votes)

*Paid for by the Tony Harris For Sheriff campaign committee

March 2022

As a lifelong resident of this county and dedicated member of the Boone County Sheriff’s Office (BCSO), Tony Harris is the right person to be elected as Boone County’s next sheriff. With over 26 years of continuous service with the Boone County Sheriff’s Office, Harris has the proven track record, the expertise and the right amount of passion to protect and serve all six communities within the county—a county he sincerely respects and is devoted to.

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A Life Deeply Rooted in Boone County

A native resident to Boone County, Tony Harris was born the last of six children to Tom and Barbara Harris. Harris resides in Boone County along with his wife, Chastity, and their four children: Cale, Lilly, Abbie and Grady. They have two family dogs, Aggie and Gus, plus three longhorns, Cash, Rio and Tio.

The Harrises enjoy life in Boone County and exploring the great outdoors. Harris has dedicated his entire life to Boone County and pledges to continue to make it his No. 1 priority to serve and protect—not only for the residents and business owners but also for the succeeding generations of the Harris family.

Harris is a member of the Charles Frank Lodge in Zionsville and is a Boone County Sheriff’s Office Citizens Academy instructor, an instructor for BCSO’s Principals in Defensive Handguns program, served as an assistant den leader with a local Cub Scout’s pack, a Spartan Endurance Race contestant and a Lebanon Kiwanis Club member. He also serves as a vice precinct committeeman for the Boone County Republican Party.

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An Established and Thriving Career With BCSO

Harris has risen among the ranks throughout his 26-plus-year career with BCSO and has earned three promotions in the last three administrations. Harris was voted assistant team commander and then team commander of the Boone County Special Response Team by his fellow team members with 19 years of service. Harris has been the chief deputy for over seven years and was appointed to colonel in 2021.

What qualifies Harris as Boone County’s next sheriff are his leadership skills developed through promotions, leadership skills of the department’s divisions and being in charge of major incident scenes. Harris also serves as the acting sheriff in the absence of Sheriff Michael Nielsen.

Once elected, Harris will continue to focus on crime data and pinpoint where activity is occurring to solve crimes faster. Harris will continue to work with BCSO inmates who are wanting to change their lives and take full advantage of BSCO’s existing classes and programs throughout the jail. These programs and classes—under Sheriff Michael Nielsen—have significantly reduced BCSO’s recidivism rate. Harris will continue to work with the inmates while expanding the existing programs to achieve even greater success with regard to improving the lives of BSCO’s inmates and continuing to reduce the recidivism rate.

Prioritizing Boone County’s Public Safety Needs

Sheriff Nielsen has been methodical about putting the right people in the right positions so that when the transition of office took place, BSCO would continue to be a well-oiled machine.

“I’ve wanted to run for this office [sheriff] for a long time and have been preparing for it,” Harris said. “I will keep our county protected. The citizens should know that they’ve already got a great team that’s been put into place—not just with me but also the people that are coming up after me.”

In addition to continuing the arduous task of “hitting the county’s opioid epidemic head on,” Harris is equally as dedicated to protecting Boone County’s most vulnerable—its children—from sexual predators. BCSO’s recently implemented Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) investigation unit will continue to be a high priority for Harris once he’s elected sheriff.

BSCO has recently joined the Indiana Crime Guns Task Force and has assigned a deputy to represent BSCO on that task force. The primary purpose of the task force is to trace illegally obtained guns or ballistics evidence to solve gun-related crimes. Additionally, Harris is committed to working with the Hamilton/Boone County Drug Task Force that was formed in 1990.

“We’ve got everything in place in order to keep moving forward—not backwards,” Harris stated. “We have to continue to be proactive and not reactive. We have gained incredible ground on the issues that we have been proactive on, and we’ve got to keep moving forward, building on those things and supplementing on what Mike’s [Nielsen] been building as sheriff—examples being BCSO’s involvement with ICAC and developing our own criminal interdiction unit.”

As the ripple effects of the pandemic and national and international affairs continue to impact the residents and businesses throughout Boone County, Harris understands these challenges and is ready to head up BCSO as the county’s residents and business owners continue to navigate these uncharted waters into the next several years.

One of Harris’ priorities is to build upon Nielsen’s culture of exceeding the minimums with regard to deputy training and ensuring that BCSO is one of the most well-trained and prepared departments in the nation.

“We currently use a program called LexiPol that our SOGs are on,” Harris explained. “Our deputies— including me—have to take a monthly test comprised of 30 questions that keep us up to speed on our standard operating guidelines. This will soon be implemented into our corrections division as well.”

Harris continued, “We’re working on a program—through a state grant—that will enable our inmates to use tablets and take online classes so that once they get out of our facility, three weeks prior to being released, they will be able to apply for jobs throughout Boone County and apply what they’ve learned. We will be one of two jails in the state of Indiana doing this, and I will continue to build on programs such as these.”

A Growing County Needs Proactive Leadership

The population is currently trending to more than double in the next 10 years, and Harris is prepared to meet that challenge and grow BCSO along with the county without sacrificing any of its services along the way. He is committed to building on the foundation that Sheriff Nielsen has established.

“We have to be proactive in order to keep crime out of the county and to protect our kids,” Harris emphasized. “I love the people of this county. The vast majority still support law enforcement, and we know they have our backs. Boone County is a place where people want to live, raise their families and build their businesses. We have to continue building on that.”

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