During the Cedar County Sheriff’s town hall meeting in the El Dorado Springs Community Friday evening, July 26, Cedar County Prosecutor Rick Pholsander announced that he will not seek a second term, but instead will seek election to fill the position of Cedar County Associate Circuit Judge Dennis Reaves who plans to retire.
He said, “I’ve seen the difference a judge can make for a county. I don’t want to leave the county in other hands when he leaves office.”
Pohlsander said, “I don’t always win in front of Judge Reaves, but I always know why I lost. I respect him.”
He said, “Prison is my last resort. It’s my default.”
He said he sent 22 individuals to the Department of Corrections last fall in a two-month period.
The prosecutor said, “I’ve heard rumors that people think I’m not working when I’m not in the office. Oh, my goodness.”
“I’m in court all over. I go to try cases on change of venue to other counties.”
He said that his commitment to the Air Force JAG Corps means he is gone two weeks per year. Plus he is committed to another 12 non-active duty days.
Pohlsander said, “My training as a judge advocate (in the Air Force) has helped me as a prosecutor.”
He thanked the Cedar County Commissioners for buying his office a new server this year. He said the database should come on line the week of July 29. He said that previously he had shared a server with the other offices in the Courthouse, but that server was insufficient to serve the load of the prosecutor’s office; when the server got overloaded, it shut down server operations for most of the other offices.
Speaking about the sheriff and the police chief, he said, “They both love their job and they do it well. Folks who work with them love their job and do it well.”
He said that this year out of 32 search warrants they applied for and his office got from a judge, “only one came up empty.”
He said that El Dorado Springs has gotten a large part of the search warrants.
Pohlsander said, “I’m worn out at 38. I don’t know how Judge Reaves does it and he’s almost ready to retire. He’s fantastic.”
The prosecutor said that when he gets a late night call asking for a search warrant, he goes to the office because he devotes all his time at home to his family. “So, the lights come on in the courthouse.”
He said his office bought the sheriff’s department a camera for the chief investigator out of bad check money.
The sheriff said “I and my deputies buy our own guns and equipment.”
The prosecutor said, “We’ve got to figure out how to keep top notch people. We have top notch employees. Chief Schiereck has top notch officers. We have top notch dispatchers.”
Pohlsander said he was about to lose two of his employees and Northern Associate Commissioner Don Boultinghouse saved the day making it possible for him to keep one of the two from leaving.
Michael Cheek, who was present at the meeting, agreed, “Commissioner Boultinghouse has done a fine job.”
Chief Schiereck said it is disheartening for young officers who seem to be fighting an uphill battle against crime. He said that almost every suspect they bring in for theft who is 17 or over admits to illegal drug addiction.”
The chief said that help from the community is badly needed but sometimes isn’t there. “A bank robber comes out of a bank wearing a mask and nobody sees anything. A dog runs across the street and we get three 911 calls.”
The sheriff told the other two, “We can’t do our job without you guys.”
The prosecutor said, “We’ve got to fund the right things. We would see a dramatic decrease in crime if we could tackle drug abuse and mental illness. We need to be able to take care of these folks the right way.”
The sheriff said, “Contact your state and federal representatives. They make the laws.”
Pohlsander said “There is a rumor that the mental health facility east of town will be privatized.”
He said, “It won’t work. They [privatized mental health providers] are there for a profit.” There is no economic incentive to keep a patient who can no longer pay, even if he needs additional treatment. He said, “They need long term care.”