Meade County forum hosts veteran sheriff and first-time candidate

STURGIS, S.D. (KEVN) - Folks in Meade County were able to ask questions from candidates running for Meade County Commission and Sheriff at a forum in Sturgis Thursday evening.

Ron Merwin has held the title of Meade County Sheriff for 28 years and he is running again in the GOP primary to make it 29.
He says out of the many things he accomplished, he has not seen turnover in his tenure which speaks to the quality personnel on his staff.
Merwin says his philosophy has always been to hire people that live in and know Meade County. He shared his thoughts going forward.

"Law Enforcement is something that even after 28 years, every day I come into work I look forward to it, I learn something new. Every day is a new challenge and every morning when I come to work, I never have any idea of what's going to happen that day. Some days I get those don't and some days I don't," said Ron Merwin, Meade County Sheriff seeking reelection.

This year, Merwin is running against first timer Pat West who has been living in Meade County for nearly 16 years. West currently works for the Division of Criminal Investigation doing drug diversion. He says as a manager and leader, he believes in continuous improvement which includes employee training and resource management. He hopes to bring those things and visibility to the sheriff's office if elected.

"I think it's important that the Sheriff's deputies be visible as much as they can and maybe even become engaged more in the public as far as community service as far as civic events. athletics events, things like that. By being present, and being seen, you can prevent crime and I think that's very important," West said.

In addition, West said that visibility also allows law enforcement to be more connected and approachable to the people of Meade County.

The primary vote is scheduled for June 5.