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Meet The Candidates For Jackson County Sheriff

Crysta Henthorne
KCUR 89.3

It does not happen often but this year there is a competitive race for Jackson County Sheriff.

There is a Back to the Future feel about it, because it pits the former sheriff, Mike Sharp, against the man who replaced him, Darryl Forté.

Sharp resigned two years ago after admitting to a sexual and financial relationship with a civilian employee in the office. At the time he called it a "personal failing" but now says the relationship was consensual, open and not a scandal.

Forté was Kansas City police chief but was criticized for retiring with a $500,000 payout for accumulated compensation, vacation and sick time. He then and now defends that payment as appropriate. Forté was appointed by County Executive Frank White when Sharp abruptly resigned.

080120_SMG_DarrylForte.jfif Courtesy of Forté campaign


Age: 58

Experience: current Jackson County Sheriff, 32 years with Kansas City Police Department, the last 5 years as Chief.

Campaign website: forteforsheriff.com

New jail: Did not respond but he recently tweeted

"For the first time in the history of the JCDC mental health services for inmates will be provided at national standards."

Diversity: Forte says he has hired seven African American Deputies in the last two years and promoted a woman to captain for the first time in the history of the office.

Crime: Did not repond.

Sex offenders: Did not respond.

Courthouse security: Did not respond.


Age: 61

Experience: Elected 3 times as sheriff with his first term in 2008.

Priorities: Sex offender registration, improving courthouse security, new jail.

Campaign website: sharpforsheriff.com

New jail: Sharp says any new jail should be built to house prisoners from not just the county but all cities in Jackson County. He says that will keep money in the county by not shipping prisoners to other county jails.

Diversity: Wants schools to create public safety programs so students start thinking about a public safety career early. He wants to increase outreach to minority communities.

Crime: Sheriff's detectives should be available to aid KCPD detectives in violent crime investigations.

Sex Offenders: Sharp says he improved compliance from 40% to 90% when he was sheriff. He says the office needs more people to monitor some 2,400 offenders.

Courthouse Security: Sharp sees this as a way for deputies to have positive interactions with citizens as they do business at the county's five courthouse.

Copyright 2021 KCUR 89.3. To see more, visit KCUR 89.3.

Sam grew up in Overland Park and was educated at the University of Kansas. After working in Philadelphia where he covered organized crime, politics and political corruption he moved on to TV news management jobs in Minneapolis and St. Louis. Sam came home in 2013 and covered health care and education at KCPT. He came to work at KCUR in 2014. Sam has a national news and documentary Emmy for an investigation into the federal Bureau of Prisons and how it puts unescorted inmates on Grayhound and Trailways buses to move them to different prisons. Sam has one son and is pretty good in the kitchen.