Eight Questions for Bryan Hogan
Wed, 07/01/2020 - 10:58am admin
The race is on for who will take Sheriff Mike Shannon’s place after his retirement. Two Republican candidates will square off in the August 4 primary: Brent Campbell and Bryan Hogan. Hogan stopped by the news office at Howell County News on June 26 for a discussion of his platform and qualifications in the race for Sheriff.
For maximum transparency, we are printing both questions and answers from the interview. Responses attributed to Hogan have been edited for clarity, but not for content.
Howell County News: What are some highlights from your career in law enforcement thus far?
Bryan Hogan: Over the nearly thirty years I have been a police officer, I have had some great experiences and met some great people. My career began right here in Willow Springs in the early 90s. After two years in Branson, I wanted to come home. Chief Walt Graves had an opening in the Mountain View Police Department. I was promoted to the rank of sergeant and then to police chief when Chief Graves retired. When I left Mountain View, I came back to Willow Springs and worked as the patrol sergeant until Chief Dunn retired in 2016, and then I was promoted to Willow Springs Police Chief.
One of my best memories would have been many years ago in Mountain View when I responded to an accident where a front-end loader with a bucket full of gravel had fallen on a construction worker at a work site. He had no pulse and was not breathing. I was able to perform CPR on the man until the ambulance arrived, and he regained a pulse and did start breathing on his own. He eventually made a full recovery.
HCN: Why do you want to be the Sheriff of Howell County?
BH: This is a career move I have considered for a long time. Because I have served as a police chief for two cities in Howell County, I feel that I have the qualifications needed to become Sheriff. I believe that Howell County deserves a Sheriff that will be there for the citizens no matter where in the county they reside. I will provide efficient service to all corners of Howell County.
I have passion for this work. It’s not a hobby. I’ve been working continuously. I’m not taking breaks. It’s what I do every single day.
HCN: Why are you better for Howell County than anyone else?
BH: I have the experience of running a law enforcement agency. I have the experience of managing officers as well as working with budgets within a government agency. I have the experience of being a long-time police officer working nearly every type of crime there is. I do it every day. It’s what I do.
As a Police Chief, I still handle calls. I go out and talk to citizens, and I respond when officers need assistance, and I will continue to do this as Sheriff.
HCN: What is your number one priority once you take office?
BH: The service and protection of all the citizens of Howell County. One thing I hear a lot is ‘I called for someone and the Deputy never shows up or it takes a long time to get there.’ I will work to create a schedule that will have enough manpower to cover all call in a timely manner at all times.
I will work with the local police and fire departments to have a space in all parts of the county so that the Deputies can work on reports and meet with citizens without going back to the Sheriff’s Office and spending time that needs to be spent in the county. Deputies cannot be in the office in West Plains all the time. Hiring more is a goal, but in the meantime, do we need all these officers in the office?
Although the Sheriff’s race will be decided in August, the new Sheriff will not actually be sworn in until January 2021. I will not wait until then. I will begin immediately meeting with deputies to find out that their needs and concerns are.
HCN: Are you planning any sweeping changes or would you prefer to maintain the status quo?
BH: I have made no promises to give anyone a job or have any plans of letting any of the current staff go. I will be implementing changes almost immediately as far as job duties that will benefit the citizens of our county and will allow for better response times and a more proactive role in community policing.
HCN: What is the biggest change you are planning as Sheriff?
BH: I would say immediate changes. I want to make sure that everybody gets a fair and equal response. I have a plan for assigning Deputies to zones throughout the county. We’re gonna answer calls period.
HCN: Why do you think the HCSO is structured the way it is now?
BH: Manpower shortages. They do need more manpower. There’s no question about it. I do have that experience of working with a city council which I will use to work with commissioners to address funding issues. It’s what I’ve been doing for 30 years. I work with mayors and councils.
HCN: What do you anticipate your biggest challenge would be as Sheriff?
BH: My goal is to turn the current trend of reactive policing into proactive policing. One of the complaints I hear from crime victims is that they never know the status of their case. After they make the initial report, they are never contacted again. I want to re-train Deputies to include and inform the citizens of the progression of their case as well as the chances of solvability. I believe it’s a matter of having the right leadership there.
Like his opponents’, this interview has been edited for brevity. Hogan discussed the realities of life as a law enforcement officer in today’s world, the value of his 30 years’ experience, his thoughts about training law enforcement officers, how he reacts and debriefs his officers after a physical interaction with a subject, and his endeavor to continuously improve himself and his officers.
The Republican Primary that will decide the Sheriff’s race in Howell County is scheduled to take place on August 4.