Couch running for Sheriff

Steve Cocouchuch will campaign for the position of Crook County Sheriff at the upcoming elections. With more than 24 years of law enforcement experience, he believes that he is well qualified to make a positive impact on the county and benefit the people, communities and services therein.

“It is time for a positive change. As your next Sheriff, I will bring leadership and build partnerships through a team approach,” he says.

“It takes many people working together for a county to successfully serve the people. The best solutions to community issues are provided when we are all involved in the process and I believe this approach builds strong communities.”

Couch’s goal in building partnerships, he says, is preventative rather than simply reactive. He believes that working from this angle helps to prevent issues before they become a problem.

“As law enforcement officers, we are already trained, and continue to train, to react and respond to a problem,” he says.

“By placing an emphasis on prevention, we can endeavor to stay a step ahead and assist communities and individuals before a situation becomes a problem.”

Couch would work hard to achieve greater cooperation between law enforcement agencies should he be elected, he says, including through cooperative training.

“I have never met an officer who wore a cape or had superpowers,” he explains.

“We need a team approach to providing solutions to community issues.”

Another partnership that Couch would work to achieve includes parents, schools and law enforcement, he says, with the goal of better assisting youth that may be troubled or at risk.

“Our children are our future. As part of this preventative approach, I would like to establish a Resource Officer for our schools,” he says.

“As such, they are law enforcement officers, a law-related counselor and a law-related educator. They collaborate between the school and the community as a resource for safety and security issues.”

Couch enjoys an excellent rapport with the children and youth of the county and believes their safety to be of utmost importance, he says.

He will also work to improve cooperation among all county emergency service agencies, believing that communication and cooperation is paramount in the public safety field in order to provide the best services possible to the citizens.

“When either communication or cooperation between them is disrupted or squelched, services to those citizens suffer. This is an area I will diligently work to improve if elected as your sheriff,” Couch says.

“A partnership between the Sheriff’s Office and the citizens of Crook County is also invaluable. I will encourage Town Hall style meetings where your voice can be heard because, as Sheriff, I need to know what concerns you.”

As sheriff, Couch says he would improve internal communication by bringing the department up to speed technologically, in ways that are relative to the community. This, he says, will greatly improve internal efficiency.

Couch’s career in law enforcement began in 1990 with the position of Detention Officer in the Crook County Jail. Within a year and a half, he says, he had been promoted to Road Deputy and was the first dual-certified deputy in the county, working both in the jail and on the street.

As a certified Custody and Control Instructor, his responsibilities included instructing other officers on defensive tactics and use of force. For the past four years, he has served as Chief of Police in Hulett.

“Due to town budget cuts, wearing every hat in the police department is now my responsibility. My duties include chief, administrator, investigator, evidence technician and patrolman,” he notes.

“During the largest event in Crook County, the rally, I am in charge of providing law enforcement services for Hulett, which includes hiring, managing and coordinating extra officers, mounted patrol, and coordinating with federal officers.”

As Police Chief, Couch says he has cut the department’s training costs in half by incorporating web-based training, which eliminates travel and motel expenditures and allows an officer to be available for service, rather than hundreds of miles away at a training venue.

“Quality, ongoing training is not only important, it is required. Having continuing education available online, and in the office, just makes good sense, and is the most prudent use of your tax dollars,” he says.

“My fiscal spending is quite conservative – the last four budgets and associated spending are publicly available. I am trained in grant writing and actively obtain grants, reducing the burden on taxpayer funds.”

Couch has almost 1900 hours of law enforcement training in areas such as computer forensics, human trafficking, executive leadership, interdiction for the protection of children and psychological criminal profiling. He is a board member for the National Joint Trafficking Intel and Prevention System, serving as Law Enforcement Liaison.

Couch is also a member of the Crook County Juvenile Services Board and Airport Board. He received the 2011 Lawman of the Year award from the American Legion.

Growing up in Belle Fourche, Couch spent his high school years training horses with his father. Upon graduating, he worked in the trucking industry and married his wife, Gabriel, in 1988, making Crook County his family’s home.

The couple has one son, Greg. Between 1999 and 2001, they travelled overseas on mission trips, after which Couch graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Southwestern Assemblies of God University.

“I humbly request your vote in the upcoming election and would be honored to serve as your sheriff,” he says.

Couch can be contact by phone via 467-5355 or on Facebook by searching “Elect Steven Couch to Crook County Sheriff”.